BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Ohio—A police officer in Brooklyn Heights was struck by a car over the weekend after he stopped to help a driver in need. The entire incident was caught by police cruiser dashcam.
Police say another motorist lost control of her car and struck the officer. The force of the collision threw him into the median.
It began as a routine stop for a minor weather-related accident on the southbound ramp from 1-76 to I-480 East Saturday evening.
Only moments after Brooklyn Heights Police Lt. John Lambert exited his patrol car to assist a driver in need, a second car lost control on the icy road, crashing into both men.
Lambert, 42, is a 22-year veteran of the Brooklyn Heights police department.
Sunday proved to be an emotional day for fellow Lt. Joseph Zawislan.
"Just to see him tumble -- that was the shocking part," Zawislan explains. "You're always prepared for it, seeing tragic scenes, but knowing it's one of your officers, it's got a little different take on it. A little hard to swallow."
Zawislan himself was called to the scene, just as rescue crews were taking Lambert away. He spoke with his coworker by phone Sunday morning.
"He does have breaks on both sides of his pelvis, plus a cracked tailbone and some other back-related issues. Very thankful that he's alive."
Zawislan says this is a brutal reminder of the risks of the job, and the steep price officers pay to serve and protect.
"Anything that (Lt. Lambert) could do for someone, he was always out there, doing the job -- not for himself, but for the community."
Lambert remains in fair condition at MetroHealth Medical Center. His doctors have told his department he will not require surgery, but will most likely need weeks to months of rehabilitation.
The accident is still under investigation and so far no charges have been filed.