PG officer injured during traffic stop visits station

FORESTVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Prince George's County police officer who was seriously injured after being hit by a minivan during a traffic stop visited the police station Friday.

Looking at Officer Bashua Olaseha, you wouldn't know that less than two months ago, he almost died.

"I remember cars coming to me, I don't remember the minivan, though. I remember waking up under the vehicle, I remember waking up in the hospital." says Officer Olaseha. "It's like one of those movies where it blacks out."

He was on a traffic stop on Pennsylvania Avenue in Forestville on May 22 when a minivan drove onto the shoulder, hit three police cruisers and then him. He jumped into a ditch where he stayed, pinned under the van while his fellow officers helped keep him calm. "There were a million different factors that saved me."

Officer Eric Guerra was there when it happened. "We were talking to him, trying to reassure him, keep him calm, it was hard when he was screaming," remembers Officer Guerra.

"It was ugly we were expecting the worse, we were expecting to attend a funeral," says Olaseha's supervisor, Sgt. Christopher Nalesnick.

Olaseha's injuries were serious. He had third degree burns, a collapsed lung, a concussion, injuries to his knee and a cut on his face.

"The scar was cool for the first couple of days, now I'm totally over it," says Olaseha. "I'm thankful for everything. I'm thankful for my family, for my fellow officers, I'm thankful it wasn't a dump truck."

Although he has seen his fellow officers pretty much every day since the accident, they have been visiting him at home during recovery, Friday is the first day he's been back at the station. Being there, he says, makes him even more anxious to get back to work.

"I'm glad to be here. I guess I got a second chance," says Olaseha. "I just want to be back. I miss hanging out with the guys. I miss work."

His doctors haven't given him a timeline for when he will be back to work, but if it were up to him, he would start today. He says he is able to jog now, but not run. His doctor says he still needs more rehab on his knee. "I'm ready to get back and do what I was doing before the accident," says Olaseha.

Olaseha is an Iraq war veteran and has been an officer with Prince George's County for about a year and a half.


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