BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A Bedford County Sheriff’s deputy says he’s lucky to be alive after his car was hit by another vehicle.
Deputy Brian Ellis' patrol car was hit Saturday while he was responding to a single-vehicle crash on the side of the road.
The sheriff's office says the female driver failed to move over.
Video from a body camera worn by Deputy Ellis shows a Jeep Liberty careening into Ellis' Dodge Charger patrol car.
The video shows Ellis' lights were on during the incident.
During a press conference Tuesday, Sheriff Mike Miller stressed the importance of the Move Over Law. “It’s such an easy thing to do to keep our law enforcement safe,” said Bedford County Sheriff Mike Miller. “Our deputies work in dangerous situations all the time, but drivers really increase that risk for them when they zoom by and ignore the flashing lights — and the law.”
Deputy Ellis says he’s lucky he wasn’t in his car when it was hit. "Oh very, very grateful to be here today, to be standing and walking, to not be involved in that, it’s by the grace of God," Ellis said.
The sheriff’s office also showed a shotgun that was in the back of Ellis’ car. The gun was snapped in half from the impact.
The sheriff's office says one of the most dangerous parts of an officer’s job is stepping out on the side of the road, whether it is for a traffic stop, to assist a motorist or to investigate a crash.
Since 2017, there have been 188 law enforcement officers killed in traffic-related incidents.
Between 2006-2017, on average, one law enforcement officer was killed during a traffic-related incident each week.
In an effort to protect those who protect us, every state has “Move Over” laws, requiring drivers to move over and/or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles with emergency lights activated. That includes flashing red, blue and amber lights.
Virginia enacted its law in 2002 and amended it in 2019 to strengthen the penalty for violating the law.
The driver of the vehicle that hit Deputy Ellis’ car has been charged with reckless driving.
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