Maryland Trooper David Avila is lucky to be alive after being sideswiped by a tractor trailer during a traffic stop. The incident was recorded by the Troopers on-board dash camera.
Avila was conducting the traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Washington County in June when he was struck by the tractor trailer. The tractor trailer, which did not abide by Maryland's "Move Over Law", grazed Avila's patrol car and then struck Avila, sandwiching him between the two vehicles. Avila, who was clearly dazed, managed to radio his dispatcher and request an ambulance before collapsing on the shoulder of the road. He suffered injuries to his shoulder, back and legs, along with a concussion according to an Examiner report.
In a statement to WBAL, Avila says: "I guess I heard the rumble strip just before the vehicle came toward me. I took a quick glance over my shoulder and kind of saw it."
Forty three states have a "Move Over" law according to Move Over American. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says since 2002, 140 officers have died as a result of being struck by vehicles. The Maryland State Police released the video to show the importance of obeying the "Move Over" law.
Trooper David Avila is truck by a tractor trailer.
In a statement released by the Maryland Department of Transportation, the "Move Over" law is “aimed at increasing safety for police, fire and emergency medical services personnel working on Maryland roadsides, as well as those riding bicycles or scooters.”
Avila is currently undergoing physical therapy for the injuries he sustained to his legs, back and shoulder. He is also receiving treatment for post-concussion syndrome. He told NBC Washington“Sometimes I look at it, and it just doesn’t seem like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m able to walk and doing a lot of physical therapy to get back.”
William Riegel Jr., driver of the truck that struck Avila, was charged with disobeying the “Move Over” law and received a $100 fine. Doctors say they are not sure if Avila will regain mobility in his right arm again or ever be able to return to work.