The incident was reported by a passing motorist at 2:15 p.m., he said.
One witness at the scene told Bauer he thought the semi driver, who was heading east, was passing his vehicle.
Minutes after the 911 call, Hillsboro ambulance personnel, firefighters, police and a sheriff’s deputy arrived.
“I was actually driving west on U.S. Highway 56 toward McPherson when I came across the incident, along with a Hillsboro officer,” he said.
About 10 motorists lined the south shoulder of the roadway in case authorities had questions.
The reason Bauer said he did not get the driver’s information was because damage didn’t exceed the state-reportable level of $1,000.
“Remarkably, the only damage I could see was to some wheat, and that was minimal,” Bauer said.
“Had there been oncoming traffic, the results would have been devastating.”
Unfortunately, medical emergencies do occur among commercial motor vehicles, too, he said, and some with tragic consequences.
“What is also amazing is that the truck did not overturn despite going through a ditch and the fields,” he said.
At the hospital, Bauer said, he told the driver that he either did a really good job, and wasn’t aware of it, or God was looking down on him.
“Or perhaps it was a little of both,” he said. “In 19 years of law enforcement, I witnessed numerous tragedies and a few miracles—this is pretty close to the latter.”