Florida State Trooper recalls highway 'brush with death'

Trooper Daniel Morely was hit by passing motorist

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Morley is back on the road after a brush with death.

"The next thing I know, I hear screeching of the tires and a car coming straight for me," said Morley. His patrol vehicle's dashboard camera captured the incident as he was issuing a ticket on the side of Interstate 95 in February. Morley was sideswiped by a passing motorist.

Trooper Morely remembered those moments that could have been his last. 

"He locked up his brakes and for some reason he just swerved over to the right side where I was standing," said Morley. The vehicle clipped Morley, 23, in his thigh and arm. "I managed to stay on my feet," he said. "He spun me around. The momentum from his mirror hitting me spun my body." The driver stopped and eventually told the trooper that he did not see him and had a flight to catch.

Like Morley, law enforcement officers everywhere can suddenly find themselves in the path of danger. Many states, including Florida, have adopted 'Move Over' laws. The laws require drivers to move one lane over when emergency personnel are attending to incidents.

Trooper Morley believes the law works but only if it is followed.  "Something like that just opens your eyes," he said.  Morley said he now watches not just the roads - and his own back - more than ever before. "I'm a little more aware," said Morley. "I approach the other side of the vehicle 100 percent of the time if possible."

Morley suffered only bruising and was back on the road within two weeks. FHP is not releasing details about the driver that hit the trooper. Violating the state's 'Move Over' law carries a fine of $165.

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