MILWAUKEE -- In commemoration of National Move Over Day Saturday, Oct. 19, two Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies hurt by drivers who failed to follow Wisconsin's Move Over Law shared their stories of survival with FOX6 News, as the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office launched a campaign aimed at showcasing the humans behind the badges.
State law requires drivers to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles, but a lot of drivers either don't know the law or choose to ignore it -- putting the lives of law enforcement and other first responders on the line.
"It was Feb. 17 of 2019," said Deputy Alexis Krusic.
"End of January 2019," said Deputy Ben Cmelak.
"It was a snowstorm that morning," said Krusic.
"I was like, 'Wow this is going to be it,'" said Cmelak.
Deputy Cmelak was grateful to see another day.
"I thought it was over," said Cmelak.
He was securing a crash scene when an SUV struck him, rolled once, and hit his squad.
"It was a completely safe scene in my mind at the time," said Cmelak. "The doctors were looking at me like, 'For getting hit by a car going 70, you are lucky beyond belief.'"
Deputy Krusic's parked cruiser was protecting a tow truck when she and a deputy she was training were struck by a vehicle traveling too fast for conditions.
"I was in the passenger seat," said Krusic. "The whole right side of my face went forward, hit the dashboard."
Officials with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office launched a new social media campaign showing the mothers, sons, fathers, and daughters behind the badge. The Move Over Law requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down to provide a safety zone for stopped law enforcement, emergency, and maintenance vehicles.
"Move over. Slow down," said Cmelak. "It makes us all get home safe.
"Your time is not more valuable than any other driver that is on the freeway," said Krusic.
Cmelak and Krusic recovered from their injuries.
A violation of the Move Over Law can result in a $250 citation. Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said crashes kill more law enforcement officers on duty than any other cause.