INJURED OFFICER: Recovering One Year Later
One year ago Sunday, a Des Moines police officer nearly lost his life to a drunk driver. Phoukham Tran was hit while directing traffic at the Iowa State Fair. He says he can`t believe it was only a year ago. From brain surgeries to continued physical therapy, it feels like more time has passed.
“What happened to me, I don’t want to happen to another person,” says Tran.
It was late on a Friday night during the Iowa State Fair. The 11 year veteran of the police department stood at the intersection of East 30th and Grand directing traffic. A drunk driver ran a red light and hit him. In April, a Polk County jury convicted driver Keith Terry of Serious Injury By Vehicle.
Tran has not been back to the area since and says while it isn’t easy, he is trying to forget that day.
“No it’s not, but it’s an accident. It’s not intentionally, but accident happen. Nothing can prevent that,” says Tran.
The accident forced Tran to rely on his family- especially his two sons- for around the clock care. He can`t drive and needs help walking.
“My family really support me,” he says.
Tran goes to weekly physical therapy sessions in the hopes of regaining the use of his right arm. Despite all his struggles, he is “doing fine” and says the worst is behind him.
Terry is serving a seven year prison sentence at Clarinda Correctional Facility.