AKRON, Ohio — The Akron police motorcycle officer who was hit by an alleged drunk driver last weekend spoke with the media Friday morning.
Police say officer Jason McKeel was driving on Portage Path when a Toyota Sienna blew through a stop sign on Bloomfield Avenue and struck him, pinning beneath the van.
McKeel said he had no time to stop and had to lay his bike down just before impact.
McKeel underwent surgery Sunday after suffering a broken finger, three fractured ribs, fractured vertebrae, a fractured tibia and a fractured fibia. Doctors had to insert a steel rod in McKeel's leg for the tibia fracture.
It's not the first time McKeel has been in a crash while riding a motorcycle. In a previous experience in 2017, McKeel was guiding a funeral procession when an unwanted vehicle accidentally ended up in the procession. The driver hit the brakes too quickly and McKeel crashed into the side of the vehicle.
McKeel says he plans to ride again when able.
"You think about it, but I told my fellow officers who ride, someone else needs to step up and take one for the team next time," he joked.
The driver, identified as 65-year-old Corrie M. Sharpe, is charged with failure to yield, OVI, aggravated vehicular assault and child endangering.
Police say Sharpe allegedly blew a .125 on a breathalyzer test (the legal limit is .08), and her 11-year-old granddaughter was also in the van. Neither were injured.
McKeel's message to drivers is simple: look out for motorcycles and their headlights.
"People are conditioned to look for two headlights," he explained. "...People see one headlight and it doesn't register sometimes."