WARNING: This video shows the officer being struck and is disturbing.
MONTVILLE, Ohio (WJW) – An officer with the Montville Police Department is recovering at home after he was hit by a car during a traffic stop.
Police released videos to FOX 8 from the officer’s dash camera and body camera. Sergeant Brett Harrison was helping during that traffic stop and standing on the roadway next to a police vehicle with flashing lights activated.
Video shows a driver hit Sgt. Harrison while passing the scene.
Another officer who was there is a former Army Medic. He called for an ambulance while evaluating the police sergeant’s injuries.
Sgt. Harrison told FOX 8, “As soon as I turned and saw it, I thought ‘Oh no, this is bad,’ I didn’t have time to get out of the way, I moved a little bit. There wasn’t a ton of pain in that initial hit until I got on the ground and then I realized this isn’t good. My initial thought was ‘I don’t want to die here on the side of the road.’”
Sergeant Harrison was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The crash happened Friday night, August 12. The police sergeant was released from the hospital Saturday.
The impact with the side mirror of the SUV caused injuries to the sergeant’s right arm, along with two dislocated toes and a contusion on his calf, which appear to have been caused by contact with one of the tires on the SUV.
“It could have been a lot worse, you know, of course up to death. I am lucky that it was minor injuries and that I get to walk away,” said Harrison.
The driver told investigators that she did not see the sergeant in the road, and while some may question how far out into the road he was standing, the police chief of Montville Township says he was doing the job he was trained to do. “There’s plenty of room in that roadway, there are three lanes there and every other car moved to that center lane which was a turn lane,” said Chief Matt Neil.
The chief says the accident illustrates why it’s so important for all drivers to obey Ohio’s Slow Down and Move Over Law, anytime they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road with their lights activated.
“You know it seems every six months, we have another police officer, firefighter, ODOT worker or tow operator hit on the side of the road or turning on the news and watching the aftermath and we just need to pay attention,” said Chief Neil.
Sgt. Harrison is now recovering at home and hopes to return to work in a couple of weeks. “It’s a huge relief and I feel lucky to be alive and be as well as I am,” he said. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and will decide if the driver who struck Sgt. Harrison will be cited.