OCALA, Fla. — Sgt. Ron Malone said it’s the noise that he remembers most about the moment he was hit by a driver who police say was fleeing officers after hitting and killing a pedestrian.
“It’s the noise that I remember the most, the explosion when the car hit me,” Malone said.
After the crash, Malone spent time in the ICU and 17 days in the hospital. The impact killed the suspect driving the other car and seriously injured Malone with tears in his knee and shoulder, a hip injury, and seven broken ribs.
Now a, month after the head-on crash, only Channel 9 spoke with Malone and obtained dashcam video showing the moment that changed his life.
“They were going so fast I never even had a chance,” Malone said.
Malone, whose coworkers know as “Batman,” said few things surpass his love for the caped crusader. But one of those things is law enforcement.
“If you love your job, if you truly love your job, you will never work a day in your life,” he said.
And even though he was already a military veteran, a business owner, a lawyer and an engineer, at the age of 40, he felt called to serve in a different way.
“I was meant to be one. I kept getting pulled to be a cop,” Malone said.
So that’s what he’s done for the last 15 years up until the crash on Aug. 26.
“I think the way my wheels were placed and the way I parked and the way I’m trained at the department that was a critical part of me making it,” he said.
A month later, Malone saw his smashed-up police cruiser for the first time, shocked at the damage so close to where he was sitting.
“But now I’m looking at it and it’s like, ‘Oh my god it’s all right there,’” he said.
Malone said the most challenging part about all this has been how it’s impacted his family, especially his son.
“He said, ‘Dad, I almost lost you,’” Malone recalled.
And while it weighs heavy on him, Malone said it’s not time to hang up the towel. He believes God saved him that night for a reason.
“I ask myself that. What is the reason? And I’m not going to be able to answer that, but whatever it is you can rest assured I’ll give it 100%. I’m here,” Malone said.
Malone said his heart goes out to the family of 26-year-old James Thompson Jr., the pedestrian killed in the earlier crash. He said he is praying for them.
Malone’s not sure when he’ll be able to return to work, but he said the sooner the better.
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