Seminole County Deputy Molly Smith reacts as an alleged drunken driver nearly strikes her as she helps a stranded motorist on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The incident was captured on Smith's dash cam.
Photo: Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Seminole County Sheriff's Office

Watch: Deputy nearly struck by drunken driver while helping stranded motorist, authorities say

Seminole County Deputy Molly Smith responded around 5:40 a.m. Saturday to unincorporated Oviedo, where a man’s car had broken down in the middle lane of the road, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office reported.

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Smith’s camera footage, and the footage from a patrol car in front of the man’s stalled car, show what happened next

Smith escorted the man around the back of his car for him to retrieve something from inside the vehicle. As she stood in the open driver’s side door of the car, she looked back into traffic and hurriedly pressed herself up against the car.

As she flung herself against the car, another vehicle veered into the middle lane and, narrowly missing the deputy, slammed into the motorist’s open driver’s side door. The door was nearly sheared completely off of his car. 

The camera footage from the other patrol car shows the crash from a different angle. In that footage, the driver’s headlights bore down on the deputy as the oncoming vehicle slipped into the lane where she stood. The driver did not appear to slow down before striking the stalled car.

Neither Smith nor the stranded man appeared to be injured in the impact. 

“Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle,” the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. “(Florida Highway Patrol) assumed the investigation and placed the driver under arrest.”

The Sheriff’s Office statement pointed out how deadly driving under the influence can be. 

“Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers,” the statement said. “Please plan your safe ride home and designate a sober driver ahead of time.”

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