California Highway Patrol Officers spend a lot of time on the state’s roadways. Between patrolling the streets, assisting drivers during roadside emergencies and responding to crashes, officers’ daily work places them in dangerous situations where they are vulnerable to the carelessness of reckless drivers.
Late last month, a California Highway Patrol officer was finally able to return to work after spending nearly one year recovering for injuries he endured during a motorcycle accident in Petaluma. The accident occurred on May 12, 2010 when the officer collided with an elderly driver making a sudden U-turn. The crash left the California motorcycle officer with 15 injuries, perhaps the most serious of which was a torn aorta.
The aorta is a very important vessel which helps circulate blood throughout the body. A torn aorta can be a fatal injury, but fortunately this officer survived his medical program, which also included treatment for a broken forearm and internal bruising.
At the time of the accident, investigators determined that the motorcycle officer had been attempting to legally pass a Ford F-150 pickup truck when a 73-year-old Corolla driver made an unexpected U-turn and effectively swerved directly in front of the officer’s vehicle. The force of the collision threw the officer from his bike.
During a public statement, the 20 year veteran of the force described how excited he was to resume his job with the California Highway Patrol. Despite his brush with death, the recovered accident victim plans to continue as a motorcycle traffic officer.
Source: ABC, “CHP officer returns to duty after being critically injured in crash last year.”April 26, 2011