A heart-racing video shows a Virginia police officer pulling a colleague to safety a split second before a car crashed into the police cruiser they were standing behind.
Gate City Police Officer Jessica McGraw called in Officer Matthew Stewart while conducting a car accident investigation on October 3, according to the Gate City Police Department. Once Officer Stewart arrived, the officers spoke behind McGraw’s patrol vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder of the road on Highway 23.
Video shows Officer McGraw’s back was turned to her patrol vehicle as she discussed the status of a driver’s license with Officer Stewart. As the two officers spoke, nothing seemed out of the ordinary until Stewart quickly reached out and grabbed McGraw, flinging her feet away from the vehicle.
While Stewart was still moving McGraw, a white sedan plowed into the side of McGraw’s vehicle sending the patrol SUV sideways and narrowly missing both officers.
“Officer Stewart caught a glimpse of the vehicle coming towards them and was able to react within a moment’s notice to grab McGraw and pull her out of the path of the spinning patrol car,” Police Chief Justin C. Miller wrote in the Facebook post.
“It is my belief the quick actions of Officer Stewart not only saved himself from serious bodily injury or death but also that of Officer McGraw,” wrote Chief Miller.
Immediately after the accident, Stewart checked on the well-being of the driver.
“Virginia State Police conducted the accident investigation involving the driver of the white passenger car and the Gate City Police Cruiser,” according to Chief Miller. “The driver was issued a citation for failure to maintain proper control of their vehicle.”
Officer Stewart did receive a minor injury to his leg, which he referred to as “a bad charlie horse.”
“The only minor injury reported was from Officer Stewart who stated his leg ‘went numb like I had a bad charley horse,'” Chief Miller wrote. “Upon review of the dash camera footage it appears the brush guard of Officer McGraw’s patrol vehicle brushed against Officer Stewart’s leg as he pushed McGraw out of the way. Both Officers are expected to return to regular duty.”