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Posted: 5:56 a.m. Wednesday, June 20, 2012
By Amy Napier Viteri
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —
A DeKalb police officer is back on the job a year after being critically injured when a driver hit him. Officer Danny LaCoste suffered several skull fractures, a broken neck, ribs and leg when a driver crashed into him last July as he worked an accident on Interstate 20 at Evans Mill Road. "I was just lying on the pavement, they thought I was dead. I guess I was dead," LaCoste told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri. He has no recollection of the accident and told Viteri the last thing he does remember is returning from a trip to Florida 10 days before. The next memory he had was waking up in the Shepherd Center, 10 days after the accident. "That had to have been one of the scariest times of my life, waking up not knowing where you are, why you're in a hospital bed," LaCoste said. After a year of rehabilitation he walks with a slight limp and said he understands he will live with pain for the rest of his life. "Everything hurts all the time. But you know, I’m back doing what I love to do," LaCoste added. He said the accident taught him to appreciate the small things. He lost his sense of smell because of the impact to his brain. "I don't care how tough a guy you think you are, you have pretty flowers out there, you like to smell them. That's been taken away," LaCoste said. The 20-year DeKalb police veteran said his biggest fear was not being able to return to police work. "I was truly dreading that I wouldn't be able to come back, and it was breaking my heart," he told Viteri. The woman accused of hitting LaCoste, Kimyata White, is facing several charges, including reckless driving and passing an authorized vehicle.
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