JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - While responding to a traffic incident Monday night, Jonesboro Police Officer Weston Gates was struck by a vehicle.
After impact, Officer Gates landed face down in the roadway.
"All I could think was get out of the road, get out of the road, get out of the road," Officer Gates told Region 8 News.
Gates admitted that he was not sure he would make it out alive. A couple of Good Samaritans at the scene made sure he did.
For one woman who helped, she feels God simply placed her in the right place at the right time.
"It was an absolute accident. I believe that to the fullest extent," Gates said.
The series of events that took place to land Jonesboro Police Officer Weston Gates in the hospital would be difficult to recreate.
"It was kind of like the perfect storm," Gates said. "It was raining, wet, dark...my car was in the right spot. You could 'what if' it to death"
Something else you could "what if" happened before Officer Gates arrived at the scene.
Mallorie McCollum, 19, was headed home and spotted the car Officer Gates was about to respond to.
"For some reason, I just felt the need that I needed to pull over. One of those feelings I cannot explain to you," McCollum said.
McCollum watched for a moment as two people tried to help the person in the car.
"They left so I was like okay, I'm going to go ahead and leave, they've got it taken care of," she said. "I put my car in drive and as soon as I put my car in drive, that same feeling came back."
It is at that moment McCollum first saw Officer Gates' blue lights. It's also the first time their paths crossed that night.
"I went ahead and pulled around and pulled up into a stall at the 25 cent car wash," Officer Gates said. "There was a blue Mustang with a little blonde girl in it."
"Well, he looked at me and just stared for a second," McCollum recalled.
"I thought she might have ran out of gas," Gates said.
"Then he directed his attention back to the car in the ditch," McCollum said.
The moment passed as quickly as it happened. Less than a minute later, Gates was hit and thrown nearly 75 feet.
Unable to breathe or feel his legs, he said he did what he could.
"I said a little prayer while I was laying on the ground because I really thought I was dying," Gates said.
A terrifying thought. But almost as if his prayer was answered, a comforting sound followed.
Recorded through his dash cam video, you can hear McCollum's voice assuring him that everything will be okay.
"I know there was a woman...a woman stepped up to me and started speaking to me," Officer Gates said. "She was asking me my name, date of birth, and all kinds of questions. I don't remember. She thinks she might have been annoying but she wasn't, it was nice to hear."
McCollum stayed with Gates until the ambulance arrived.
As to why she was there to begin with, they both feel there is only one explanation.
"I told my mom I was like, that's for sure a God thing," McCollum said. "I told everyone that. There's no reason that I should have been in that car wash that late at night."
"I think God had His hand over me and maybe he placed her there," Officer Gates said.
McCollum, of course, was not the only person to help Officer Gates after he was hit. She said most importantly, everyone helping him remained calm.
As for Officer Gates, he's home from the hospital. He said right now, he is trying to get as much rest as he can. He is also working to learn of each person who helped him in his time of need to say thank you.
"They are true heroes in my book," Officer Gates said.
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