Police sergeant says he’s thankful to be alive after suspect crashes head-on into cruiser

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 2:41 AM CDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WFTV) - A Florida police sergeant believes God saved him for a reason after he was seriously injured in a head-on crash with a hit-and-run suspect.

Newly released dashcam video shows the terrifying moments that changed Ocala Police Sgt. Ron Malone’s life forever. Police say a hit-and-run suspect intentionally slammed into Malone’s police cruiser on Aug. 26.

The suspect, who police say was going more than 90 miles per hour, was running away from officers after he allegedly hit a pedestrian, killing him, and another patrol car.

“They were going so fast I never had a chance,” Malone said.

The impact killed the suspect driving the other car and seriously injured Malone, who spent 17 days in the hospital. He suffered tears in his knee and shoulder, a hip injury and seven broken ribs.

“I think the way my wheels were placed and the way I parked and the way I’m trained at the department, that was a critical part of me making it,” Malone said.

A month after the crash, Malone was shocked at the amount of damage as he saw his smashed-up police cruiser for the first time.

“Wow, I don’t get it,” he said. “Now I’m looking at it, I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ It’s all right there.”

Malone says the toughest part of his ordeal has been how it has impacted his family, especially his son.

“He said, ‘Dad, I almost lost you,’” Malone said.

While the incident weighs heavily on him, Malone also believes God saved him that night for a reason.

“I ask myself that: ‘What is the reason?’ I’m not going to be able to answer that, but whatever it is, you can rest assured I’ll give it 100%. I’m here,” he said.

Malone says his heart goes out to the family of 26-year-old James Thompson Jr., the pedestrian killed in the earlier crash, and he is praying for them.

Malone is not sure when he’ll be able to return to work, but he said the sooner, the better. He has been with the police department for 15 years.