Dallas County deputy recovering after being hit while helping driver

A Dallas County Sheriff's deputy on Wednesday returned to the scene where she was nearly killed last month while helping a stranded driver.

Deputy Claudia Guardado said she barely had time to react when a suspected drunk driver slammed into her squad car on SB I-35 at Walnut Hill about 2 a.m. Her story is just another example of the dangers law enforcement officers face as they work near busy roadways.

"My heart is racing a little bit, my hands are sweaty,” Guardado said.

Guardado was using her squad car to divert traffic around a driver with two flats as a tow truck loaded up the vehicle.

"Something told me to stop walking, so I stopped walking,” she said.

Guardado saw a vehicle coming and motioned with her flashlight for the driver to move over.

'I'm barely doing this maybe a couple of times, when all of the sudden I see he is coming! He's not slowing down, he's not moving over he's not doing anything,” Guardado said. “I feel the car hit me, throws me in the air, I hit the guard rail and I fall to the ground.”

Guardado quickly realized she was already bleeding heavily out of her nose and lips. She said she felt momentarily paralyzed.

"I couldn't move this side of my body, my leg, my arm, I could barely move this hand and I just lay there, literally gasping asking for help,” Guardado said. “I just kept thinking to myself, I'm just going to die out here by myself."

That when she says the driver of the tow truck said the man who caused the crash was trying get away.

"I said it's not fair, he almost killed me, I didn't know if somebody else was injured, hurt, so I think that's what gave me a little boost to get up,” Guardado said.

Guardado caught the suspect handcuffed and arrested him. Jae Chung, 51, is charged with driving drunk and causing an injury.

Guardado says she's still swollen and bruised but is back at work on light duty until she's able to make a full recovery. 

"I think it's a miracle, a little miracle within itself, there's no other way to explain it,” Guardado said.

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