Trooper Encourages Motorists to Drive Safely

Video from WJLA-TV ABC 7 (Washington, DC)

Virginia State Trooper Justin Mahalik says he feels fortunate to be alive. It is the people of Virginia who should feel fortunate to have someone as brave and dedicated as Trooper Mahalik protecting them.

On April 30, around 12:45 am, Trooper Mahalik had made a traffic stop on I-66 just west of Washington, DC. The violator was seated in the back seat of Trooper Mahalik’s cruiser, when a drunk driver slammed into the vehicle. Though seriously injured, Trooper Mahalik managed to get out of the vehicle, walk around and remove the now-unconscious passenger, just as the cruiser burst into flames. Trooper Mahalik spent three days in the hospital and is still recovering from two fractured vertebrae and a broken rib.

Read the story and watch the video from WJLA-TV, ABC 7, in DC.

On Thursday, May 22, during a special Memorial Day traffic safety event, Trooper Mahalik saw the burned out carcass of his police vehicle for the first time since the crash. “It’s amazing that anybody got out of that car, much less got out of that car and pulled another passenger to safety,” said Col. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police.

Col. Flaherty and other law enforcement officials are joining the NLEOMF in urging motorists to exercise extreme caution around police officers and other first responders who will be out on the roadways protecting the rest of us this Memorial Day weekend – and, really, throughout the year. Over the past decade, more than 150 officers nationwide have been struck and killed on America’s roadways, many of them by drunken drivers.

For more information, including 10 safety tips for motorists, visit the NLEOMF Drive Safely website … and sign the Drive Safely Pledge.