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Christmas marks anniversary of crash that nearly killed Officer Vrtochnick

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MILWAUKEE — Christmas Day marked the one-year anniversary of the hit-and-run crash that nearly killed a Milwaukee police officer.

Officer Frank Vrtochnick was struck while on patrol outside his squad car near 17th and Windlake. 

Vrtochnick was standing on the grass when a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Juan Alvarado struck him from behind. Vrtochnick was thrown into the air, flipped around and landed face first 30 to 40 feet away, near a street sign.

Vrtochnick suffered multiple fractures to his left leg, several facial fractures, a subdural hematoma and was missing multiple teeth after being struck. Vrtochnick would require multiple surgeries to address the injuries.

Alvarado told investigators after his arrest he was on a two-day drinking binge before the accident.

Alvarado was sentenced to 10 years in prison with 10 years of extended supervision. He pleaded no contest to charges of first degree reckless injury and first degree reckless endangerment for the crash.

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