RAMONA, Calif. - A Chula Vista police officer who was injured in a crash involving a teenage driver who CHP officers say was texting behind the wheel spoke with 10News for the first time on Monday.
"I'm really very blessed," Officer Nathan Walker told 10News.
The scars on his forehead are still fresh. His internal injuries, such as seven broken ribs and a punctured lung, are still painful.
"I think considering what happened, I am doing really well," he said from his home during his recovery.
Walker was critically injured in a three-vehicle crash in Ramona on May 29 along state Route 78 near Earlham Street. The 33-year-old officer was making his way through Ramona after a day of motorcycle training for other officers when the crash occurred.
Walker collided with a Chevy HHR and then flew off his motorcycle, feet first into a gray sedan. The CHP says a texting teenager was behind the wheel of the sedan.
"We were actually headed back to Chula Vista," said Walker. "We had finished the long ride for the day for the academy."
But then, there was the unavoidable crash. He vividly remembers the sights and the sounds of the collision.
"I heard what was a very distinct pop … when vehicles collide," he recalled.
He should know, because he is an accident reconstructionist with the Chula Vista Police Department.
"The last thing I remember was bracing to basically jump off the bike … and try to clear as much of the windshield as I could," Walker said.
His wife Margarita is also with the Chula Vista Police Department. She says when she got the call, she did not realize how badly injured her husband was.
"I didn't know the severity of what they had seen," she said.
Walker has this message for that driver and others who are new to the road.
"You just need to take some time and really evaluate what you're doing," he said during an interview with 10News on Monday. "It just takes a split second, as we found out, to turn everyone's lives upside down."
The CHP says the investigation is still ongoing. It is unclear if the teenage driver will face charges.