Officer Speaks Out After Almost Being Hit by Alleged Drunk Driver

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- It happened in an instant.

“I noticed headlights coming directly at my car, they were in the right lane and I was waiting for them to merge or slow down and neither of one of those happened and that's when I decided the best bet was to run across the road” said Johnston Police Officer Anthony Yeager.

Yeager's quick reaction likely saved his life, a routine traffic stop on SW 70th Street that turned out to be anything but routine.

The young officer’s body camera captured the harrowing moments.

Returning to his patrol car from the car he pulled over, Yeager saw a car coming down the road.  It didn’t move over or slow down, smashing into the rear of the patrol car.  Yeager jumped out of the way seconds before the impact.  A reminder of the risks officer’s take daily.

“That's any night in law enforcement, you come to work prepared for the worst, our families are prepared for the worst, it's something we don't want to have to deal with but it's the reality of the job; but luckily Friday night I made it home to my wife and kids” said Yeager.

The driver of the car was uninjured and charged with an OWI.  Now after the adrenaline has worn off Yeager hopes to use the video to stop someone else from getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

“Drunk driving is done for no reason. There are so many apps Uber, taxis, sober friends, you can definitely get a ride home and you don't need to drink and drive. One, it puts you in danger, it puts everyone else in danger as well. Your family doesn't need to be without you, and the victim's family don't need to be without them” said Yeager.

Meanwhile the Johnston Police Department will also use the video to train their other officers on what to do if they find themselves in a similar situation.

“We know that every day is different, and we know that there's no way as an organization or as a profession we can prepare them for every possible circumstance. So when we have opportunities such as these we want to learn from them whenever possible” said Johnston Police Chief Dennis McDaniel.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving there were 78 drunk driving deaths in 2016.

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