Injured Birmingham police officer talks about struggle during recovery
A badly hurt police officer talks exclusively with ABC 3340 as he struggles to recover.He doesn't even remember the injuries that put him in a hospital bed. Birmingham Police Officer, Brandon Smith, was severely injured in may when a driver hit him as he worked a wreck on I 20/59.Investigators believe the driver, 84-year-old Tom Pole, had been drinking.Smith says, "I don't really remember much about the incident, it happened really fast and that was it."What officer Brandon Smith remembers from May 10th is working a wreck near Arkadelphia Road. "A car had flipped over a couple times and was in the ditch, had about four passengers."He says fellow officers raced to another scene. He planned to follow when he finished with the wreck. But, that.. didn't happen."I kind of flashed in and out until I woke up in the hospital with a ventilator in my throat."Smith was hurt in a hit and run. He's now endured multiple surgeries. "I broke my Tibia and Fibula, left ankle, dislocated my shoulder and believe cracked some type of bone there as well. Fractured my right elbow." He has physical therapy three times a week."The shower and getting up the stairs are my two biggest issues."But, what frustrates him the most, "I just hate I missed everything."The call he missed was for his friend, fellow officer Keary Hollis.. shot and killed .. while off duty."I wasn't able to participate in any of Officer Hollis's home going services." Just the thought of that hurts a lot because I enjoyed seeing him we he got to work."A tough night for his girlfriend too, also a Birmingham Police Officer, one of the first to respond to the shooting.Teneka Clark says, "My boyfriend's on the freeway hit, not sure of his status and one other officer I'm very close with, not knowing what was about to be said about him."Clark continues to help with Smith's struggle as well as Wounded Blue, Inc, a new group that serves injured officers, helping with finances and family support. Smith says, "My mother, she came from cleveland and getting her back home was an issue and they were able to help us."Smith questions how he survived, but he's grateful to be here and hopes you will remember this."If you see those blue lights on, the first thing you need to do is slow down and go away from the blue lights."Smith says wounded blue is trying to find help in renovating his shower for easier access.There is progress.He's now walking a little bit in therapy. He'll see a doctor next week about his shoulder.