Warning: This article includes content some readers may find disturbing
As a police officer and father of six from Athens, Georgia, recovers from a near-fatal collision with a fleeing suspect, his wife laments the perils of the job and shares gratitude for her husband’s miraculous survival.
Sergeant Paul Davidson bore witness to the culmination of a car chase along the Atlanta Highway in the wee hours of Aug. 17, and the accident almost took his life.
The suspect, 25-year-old Henry Daniel Greene, was questioned at a traffic stop for a broken tail light in Barrow County but proceeded to speed away, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) told the Athens Banner-Herald.
A police chase commenced, reaching speeds of 105 miles per hour. Greene lost control of his vehicle and collided with Davidson’s stationary cruiser at a stoplight. The officer, who was not involved with the chase, had to be cut from his totaled vehicle using hydraulic rescue equipment known as the Jaws of Life.
Davidson was rushed to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, according to an ACCPD press release, having sustained serious injuries. Police Captain John Radford, who is in charge of commanding the West Precinct where Davidson is stationed, claimed, “It’s a miracle he’s alive.”
Greene and the two passengers in his vehicle were likewise taken to hospital but sustained only minor injuries. Greene faces multiple felony charges and is pending an investigation.
Davidson’s wife, Grace, took to Facebook the day after the horrific crash to share an update on her husband’s ordeal. “He survived. Thank God,” she began. “My husband surely has a guardian angel watching over him.”
“Being a cop’s wife is not easy,” Grace continued. “You worry every night. Is he going to come home? Can I go to bed now without worrying? It’s our reality every day.”
On the night of the accident, Grace’s cell phone rang shortly after midnight; she felt her nerves instantly as she knew that her husband would never call so late for no reason. First responders informed Grace that her husband had been seriously injured in a vehicle collision.
The officer had sustained a huge gash to his forehead, severe concussion, swelling and bruising, and an injured elbow but no broken bones.
When Grace arrived at the hospital, she saw that her husband “[w]as bloody and unconscious.”
“[T]o see my husband like I have never seen him before. Something I NEVER, EVER want to see again,” Grace further added.
Although Davidson was very “battered” after the accident, Grace shared that he feels “extremely lucky he survived.”
Almost 2,500 netizens left messages of love and support for the traumatized family, wishing the father of six a speedy recovery. “What a strong man to pull through such a horrific accident,” wrote one supporter. “Then to be strong enough to return home ASAP [to] his beautiful family.”
“Blue lives matter,” wrote another. “Thank you for your service. Praying.”
Grace told Channel 2 Action News that she felt overwhelmed by the outpouring of public support. “Life can change so quickly,” she reflected. “I believe there’s a special plan for Paul. He’s the love of our lives […] We treasure every day and know we are so lucky to have our family together.”
The recovering officer and his wife parent a blended family of five daughters and a son—all of whom are grateful their father made it out of the wreckage alive.
On Aug. 24, a week after the accident, Grace posted an update on her husband’s condition on Facebook. “Paul Davidson is still healing well at home,” she wrote. “Stitches in his head should come out tomorrow.”
“The concussion is definitely still healing,” she added, “but Paul’s great sense of humor was untouched!”
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