DENVER (CBS4)– A Denver Police Officer who was seriously injured after being struck by a suspected drunk driver said she is grateful to be alive.
Officer Angela Simon was hurt after pulling over a vehicle at about 1:15 a.m. at 400 West Colfax Avenue on Monday. She is recovering at Denver Health Medical Center from injuries to her mid-to-lower body.
Simon wanted to tell her story to warn people about the dangers of drinking and driving.
“All of a sudden I heard this crunch noise and I knew immediately there was an accident. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what would happen next,” said Simon while describing that early morning incident.
“I landed in front of the car and had no clue for a second what just happened,” said Simon. “I could feel all the pain and I remember trying to hit my emergency button on my radio, my police radio and I couldn’t move.”
“During the stop a pickup truck ran into one of the police vehicles involved in the traffic stop. The impact of the crash pushed the police vehicle into Officer Simon, pinning her between the stopped vehicle and the police vehicle,” Sonny Jackson with Denver police said in a statement.
Police believe Nicholas Herrera was behind the wheel. Herrera, 22, was charged Wednesday with one count of vehicular assault.
“It’s hard to be angry about the fact that I’m here right now. I’m so grateful that I’m alive and that I’m here,” said Simon.
Get well cards and balloon litter Simon’s hospital room as she recovers from a broken femur and other injuries. But it was a letter and flowers from the passenger in Herrera’s vehicle the surprised Simon the most.
“His passenger sent me a card apologizing to me and sent me some flowers and he asked for forgiveness for himself and his friend,” said Simon.
Simon is a seven-year veteran assigned to the Patrol Division.
Herrera has been released from custody on a $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 13, to be formally advised of the charge.