A Portland police officer was injured after an elderly motorist ran into his patrol car’s door.
It happened Sunday afternoon just after Officer Alex Hill pulled over a car on Highway 52.
As Officer Hill was getting out of his patrol car to engage the driver he had stopped, when a brown Chevrolet Blazer driven by a 79-year-old man hit the patrol car’s open door.
The car door was smashed, and the impact caused major damage to the Blazer.
“It’s my understanding he may have hold on the door as he was going to back away and close it. As he saw the vehicle moving, he simply moved back against the car as close as he could as the vehicle passed through and struck the door,” Portland Police Chief Anthony Heavner said.
From the officer’s dash cam, you can see the impact forces the camera system to go black for a moment. Officer Hill is then seen getting out and picking up pieces of car parts.
Chief Heaver said the officer pushed himself back against the police car and narrowly avoided a serious injury.
“Officer Hill was very lucky to have survived that,” the chief said.
Hill only suffered a swollen hand from where he was holding the door and the violence of the impact with the SUV.
According to a police report, the driver of the Blazer, Robert Johnson told arriving investigators that he has had three strokes over the last three years. One of those strokes he said took a portion of his sight away.
In the report, Johnson said he should not be driving on this day, but thought since it was nice out he would be able to see better.
“Like today, I can see halfway decent right now, but if something’s up on the side of me, I don’t see it as good,” Johnson told News 2.
Johnson said he was not hurt.
“The eye doctor told me that I am not legally blind. They cannot say anything to you about driving because you are not legally blind,” he said.
When asked by News 2 if he saw the officer on the side of the road, Johnson said, “I didn’t see him. I don’t know if he passed me after I pulled out of there or what. I didn’t even see him sitting there.”
When asked if he thinks he should keep driving, Johnson said, “No, I am going to try and quit totally. I haven’t even been out of the yard today.”
Johnson also offered his apologies to Officer Hill.
“I’m very, very sorry. I didn’t want nothing to ever happen,” he said.
Officer Hill is expected to make a full recovery. Johnson was cited for due care.
News 2 called several agencies for Johnson on Tuesday trying to help find some ride programs. Mid Cumberland Public Transit has already reached out to Johnson.