From NBC12 News
RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - Virginia can boast some of the best law enforcement officers in the nation.
Including the national 2008 Trooper of the Year.
Trooper Justin Mahalik is the first member of Virginia State Police to ever receive this award.
Last April during a traffic stop, he and another driver were sitting inside the police cruiser when it was hit by a drunk driver.
Despite spinal injuries and burns to his legs, Trooper Mahalik managed to pull the other driver from his burning patrol car.
After months of physical therapy, Trooper Mahalik was able to return to road patrol last fall.