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'I was so glad to be alive': Cocoa officer describes motorcycle accident from hospital bed

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — From his hospital bed, Cocoa motorcycle officer Rickford Leitch recalled the moment he crashed into a Jeep who had cut in front of him.

“I remember seeing flashes of light and the road passing by. Then (it got) totally blue. There were no sounds, just totally quiet,” said Leitch.

The crash happened just after 11 a.m. Sunday at U.S. 1 and Rosa L. Jones Boulevard in Cocoa while Leitch was escorting The Moving Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial from Eustis to Wickham Park in Brevard County.

“I knew what was to come. If I turned right, I would have ran into the procession. If I turned left I'd go into oncoming traffic that would have been fatal,” Leitch said.

Leitch made a split-second decision to avoid a direct impact and take his chances in the air.

“At the very last moment I leaped as high as I possibly could, and I can't remember making contact with the vehicle. I know the front of my helmet struck the windshield,” Leitch said.

Leitch suffered a concussion and serious hand injuries. He's had reconstructive surgery on his right hand.

Investigators said the driver who was responsible for the crash, Norman Scott, 25, was arrested Tuesday. He’s accused of driving off after the crash.

A judge set Scott’s bail at $81,000.

Leitch said he hasn't wasted any energy on anger.

“It was quite an experience. It was nothing but God. The decisions I made in the time I had. The outcome would have been way different. I wouldn't be alive,” Leitch said.

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