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MSP motor carrier officer speaks out after scary crash
CASS COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Last week, a Michigan State Police officer survived a horrifying crash, and now he's speaking to Newschannel 3.
On Wednesday, news broke that Motor Carrier Sergeant Paul Leonard was rushed to the hospital.
He'd pulled over an SUV just outside of Niles, when a distracted driver caused a chain reaction crash that could have killed Leonard.
The driver says he fell asleep at the wheel. The resulting crash gave the sergeant only a split second to react.
The video that Newschannel 3 received Monday shows it's hard to believe that Sergeant Leonard walked away almost unharmed.
Eyewitness Anthony Gonzalez was the first to call 911 on Wednesday afternoon.
The Suburban went toward the officer, when I looked, all I seen was the officer's head turning and him trying to get out of the way, Gonzalez said.
Paw Paw Motor Carrier Sgt. Paul Leonard told Newschannel 3 on Monday that he was delivering a ticket on M-60 and had only a split second to get out of the way of the red Suburban.
"The impact caused the red SUV to spin around, and the rear end was about 6 inches from my face, and I remember laying in the ground looking at the rear wheel and the throttle must have been stuck, because the wheel was just spinning drilling a whole in the ground, Sgt. Leonard said.
On the video, you can see Sgt. Leonard crawl to safety as the driver he ticketed escaped from his window to check on the Sergeant.
Leonard told us Monday he flew 20 feet through the air on impact.
I remember thinking: 'This is how I am going; I'm done,' he said.
Replaying these moments each day following the crash, Sgt. Leonard says he's shocked he walked away alive.
"Fractured wrist, that's it basically and some cuts and bruises, but here I am, he said.
The Cass County Prosecutor says he's expecting to take over the case in the next few days to review potential charges.
As for Leonard, he says he has a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and is hoping to get cleared to go back to work, especially for light duty.