CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained exclusive video of the frantic moments after a driver hit a Cleveland police officer directing traffic downtown, an incident that happened just weeks after another driver hit a traffic controller in the Warehouse District.
The two cases put a new spotlight on the danger of standing in the middle of the street directing traffic with cars hurrying past just inches away.
A car hit Sergeant Stephanie Murphy. The video shows other officers rushing to the scene. Even citizens stopped to see if she needed help. Murphy got hit in the lower leg. She couldn’t walk and the video shows officers carried her to the sidewalk to wait for an ambulance.
A witness told an officer, "She was just standing here doing the traffic, and the lady just turned into her."
Police gave a ticket to the citizen driver there.
Recently, Cleveland police arrested a suspected drunk driver for plowing into a traffic controller leaving her with multiple injuries.
Directing traffic on city streets is a risky job. Police in some towns have tried putting officers up on pedestals. But even those get hit. Meantime, Cleveland officers and traffic controllers also wear fluorescent vests day and night hoping to stand out in the eyes of every driver.
Outside a courtroom, we met Stephanie Hughes, the woman ticketed for hitting Sgt. Murphy.
Hughes said, "She was behind a vehicle, so I couldn't really see her. And I wasn't really sure where I was going in the area anyway so…" She added, "I was not on my phone."
In Cleveland Municipal Court, Hughes ended up pleading not guilty, so she got a new court date. She faces two driving charges.
The case against the suspected drunk driver is just moving into felony court in the traffic controller accident. Anduan Efford has been indicted since police believe he was impaired, and the traffic controller suffered multiple injuries.
As for Sgt. Murphy, no broken bones.
Cleveland police say there are no changes in protocol or guidelines for how they direct traffic despite the recent crashes.
However, police are hoping these cases remind all drivers to pay attention and watch out for the officers and traffic controllers on the street.