UND student's recovery inspires GFPD officers who saved his life

GRAND FORKS, ND--It was a day of thankfulness at the Grand Forks Police Department for many different reasons.

Dozens were honored for their years of service during the department's annual award ceremony.

Community members were also recognized for various reasons.

For two officers though, their award was very special - and they weren't referring the certificate they received from the chief.

"A certificate is a piece of paper, but to see someone that's embracing life even though with challenges, makes our job worth," said Grand Forks Police Department Chief Mark Nelson.

Chief Mark Nelson is referring to a young man; 21-year-old Jacob Huber.

"The award means nothing, seeing him in the background meant everything, I could see him sitting there, that was the most important thing to me," said Cpl. Rick Fuka, with the Grand Forks Police Department.

It's a call Officer Adam Solar and Corporal Rick Fuka will never forget.

"When I heard the dispatch I didn't believe it, I did't think it would be real," said Officer Adam Solar.

Early one Sunday morning back in October, the officers were called to a neighborhood near the BNSF rail-yard.

"Jacob was lying there on the ground missing his left arm."

The senior at UND had hopped a train from downtown to Dyke Avenue where he jumped off.

But in that process the train ran over him.

Bleeding - he managed to walk 100 feet to a nearby home for help.

As the officers tried to stop the bleeding - they say the Bismarck native - who was a standout athlete in high school - was his own hero.

"That was the biggest shock, how positive he was at the time, he was the one reassuring people on scene that everything was going to be okay," said Solar.

Tuesday was living proof of that - as officers met Jacob for the first time since that night.

"I think of him often. I wanted him to know I am behind him."

"It's not very often with many of our calls, we get to follow up and see how they are doing down the road. Quite a few times, I wonder," said Solar.

A recent video shows Jacob - who is still not ready to talk about the accident publicly - learning to walk with a prosthetic leg.

Doctors had to amputate his left leg due to his injuries. The mechanical engineer and mathematics student is also busy studying for finals this week.

"He's moving forward with his life and it's like he isn't missing a beat," said Solar.

Both officers say Jacob Huber will forever inspire them - reminding them if this young man can survive this - they too can survive life's challenges.

"This is something that could have turned him down, turned him around, could have made him depressed yet he's not, he's battled through it."

As you can imagine - Jacob Huber still has a long road to recovery.

A gofundme has been set up for Jacob. If you'd like to make a donation, click here.