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Injured Trooper Speaks About Nearly Dying

Updated: Thursday, April 11 2013, 08:00 AM EDT

September 11, 2012 state Trooper Matt Mitchell stopped a car with an expired tag.  "I remember my wife calling about five minutes before I got hit," he said.  She called to remind him they had church later that night.  But the traffic stop kept him from answering.  "I looked at my phone and said I'll call her back.  I never got to."

That's because Mitchell had been hit from behind by another driver.  "I was supposed to get off at 5 o'clock and it happened just five minutes until five."  Beyond that Mitchell doesn't remember much else about that fateful day.  "I'm just glad I didn't see it coming because I think it would've been worse.  If I had tensed up, you know," Mitchell said.

His injuries were horrific.  "They put me in an induced coma for 12 days."  Exclusive pictures obtained by News 13 revealed just how mangled his body was.  Said Mitchell, "it's just by the grace of God that I'm still here."  He suffered brain swelling, a broken ankle, and bruises all over his body.

Yet true to his fighting spirit, Mitchell awoke giving a thumbs up.  But he wasn't out of danger yet.  Mitchell was taken to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for specialized treatment.  There he received cards on a daily basis from strangers and police patches from all over the country.  It was that support he said helped him fight to live.

Now that he's on the mend, Mitchell wants back to get back to work, a job that nearly killed him.  "I don't know how to explain it but it's something I've always wanted to do, is to be a trooper."

In May Mitchell must undergo a driving test as final clearance before he can return to work.  Even then he will be on restricted duty during his initial return.  It's a small victory Mitchell said he can live with to do the job he loves.

Also in May friends will hold a golf tournament fundraiser to assist the injured lawman and his family.  Contact NC HIghway Patrol Troop G for more details.


Click here to watch Trooper Mitchell's entire interview.

By: Mario Boone, mlboone@wlos.com
Follow on Twitter: @marioboone

Injured Trooper Speaks About Nearly Dying


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