NJ Police Officer Nearly Hit By Drunk Driver
MULLICA TWP., N.J. – A police officer in New Jersey was nearly hit by a driver who was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol during a traffic stop.
According to Officer Eric Carricarte, he heard a sound which was just like the sound of an explosion. After that, he saw a motor vehicle spinning sideways right towards him. He said, “The vehicle probably came about a foot and a half from hitting me. It was extremely scary. I’m absolutely lucky to be here.”
He had just 1 second to jump out of the way after the Mazda crashed into his cruiser. The metal trim ripped from the police car went flying and struck his feet.
The accident happened along the highway at about 4 a.m. on Saturday, a few minutes after Carricarte and Patrolman Michael Jamerson stopped 2 other vehicles that were yards apart from one another.
Jamerson said, “From my vantage point I thought I just witnessed my partner lose his life in the line of duty”.
The hitting motor vehicle slid into the woods and came to rest. 21-year-old Alex Opoku was taken into custody as he was driving under the influence of alcohol and also had marijuana in the car, according to the police.
“If people drink and get behind the wheel, they do things like this. The ramifications are terrible,” added Carricarte.
The extremely close call was recorded in the dashboard camera, the department’s first, which was installed just 3 days back.
Chief John Tompson said, “A picture is worth a thousand words and same thing for a video. Things going on in the nation shed light on some of the dangers police officers face every time they put the uniform on.”
Opoku was released after posting bail. In an email which was sent to a local news station, he said that he’s really sorry and didn’t want this to happen. He also said, “He was very intoxicated during the accident and had no clue what was going on.”
Carricarte told that it was the most terrifying and scary moment of his career to date.
In the month of September, a law was enacted by New Jersey requiring all new municipal police cars to be equipped with dashboard cameras so that any mishap taking place can be recorded.
The chief told that without that mandate, his department probably still wouldn’t have any.
News Source: www.WHDH.com