Trooper hit by cop talks to Action News

February 23, 2010 10:34:16 PM PST
A Pennsylvania state trooper who came within a couple of inches of losing his life spoke exclusively to Action News.

Matt O'Donnell met up with Matthew Sheeran at the hospital where a frightening ordeal has turned into a good news story.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Matthew Sheeran was surrounded by colleagues as he spoke exclusively to Action News at Hahnemann Hospital.

It is why the 27-year-old, three-year veteran is in such good spirits - three days after an accident that could have ended his life.

"All things considered, I'm doing OK," Sheeran said, "I'm in pain and everything, but with the support of all these guys, I'm getting by."

Sheeran was part of a crew that was removing an abandoned vehicle from I-95 on Saturday. Dash cam video, taken from a patrol car just 200 feet behind Sheeran's location, shows a speeding Toyota Corolla - that state police say was driven by Matthew Sharkey who is an off-duty Philadelphia police officer.

Investigators suspect Sharkey was drunk when he veered to the right, plowed over police flares, and into the back of Sheeran's patrol car.

"I heard a screech, I look up, and at that point I just see my car coming at me," Sheeran said. "I do remember most of it, but it's kind of foggy from there on."

The trooper in the other vehicle immediately moved ahead when he realized something horrible has happened.

The Toyota had pushed the patrol car forward, knocking down and pinning both Trooper Sheeran and a tow truck operator. The tow operator was able to slide out, and gave Sheeran medical attention on the scene. Another trooper was slightly injured while diving out of the way.

Sheeran became trapped beneath his patrol car. His legs twisted and turned, ripping ligaments. Although he knows there are no guarantees, Sheeran vows to not only walk again - he wants to return to patrol.

"Everybody's been so supportive, it's unbelievable. I just can't say enough," Sheeran said.

Sharkey, the city police officer accused of causing the accident, was arrested on the scene on suspicion of DUI. The 23-year-old could faces charges, depending on the outcome of toxicology tests.