APOPKA, Fla. - An Apopka police officer is under investigation for causing a crash that seriously hurt another driver.
Pam Bowers told WFTV the officer walked away from her after she told him she was hurt.
Bowers said she was driving home from work Monday night on State Road 441 when the officer cut in front of her without his turn signal or sirens on.
She was terrified when she realized she couldn’t avoid hitting the patrol car.
“I saw him and I put my foot on the brake and I said, ‘Oh, my God I’m going to hit him,’” she said.
Bowers’ sternum slammed into the wheel and cracked.
“I couldn’t breathe. I was having a really hard time. It hurt really bad,” she said.
She said the officer driving, Vance Maloney, checked on her, found out she was hurt, but then left her alone and trapped in her car.
“You’re to protect and serve, but he didn’t keep me safe,” Bowers said.
“I can’t put into words what he was thinking, but if she felt that way we apologize for that,” said Apopka police spokesperson Edwin Chittenden.
Police said the officer’s car was sent into a tailspin and ended up on the other side of the road facing the wrong way.
They said his door was jammed and he had to climb out the passenger side.
The crash report shows Maloney to be at fault, but he wasn’t ticketed.
“The officer is clearly at fault; we’re not disputing that. The determination about issuing a citation goes with the investigating officer, and sometimes that does take a week and a half,” Chittenden said.
Bowers is an emergency room nurse, and she said her recovery could take about six weeks, but she doesn’t know whether she will be able to return to her job.
“There’s no light duty in the emergency room. No such thing,” she said.
Police said Maloney is sorry about causing the accident, and he will have to pay $250 toward the damage and may end up having his pay docked if he’s suspended.
Police said the officer’s next raise will be affected if he gets one.