ALPHARETTA, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - An Alpharetta police officer is lucky to be alive after an alleged drunk driver slammed into her patrol car, leaving it smashed and mangled.
Officials say a last-minute decision by the officer may have been what saved her life.
Alpharetta police say the this case should be a lesson to all. In fact, they say if the officer had stayed in her patrol car like they typically do, it would be a whole different story.
Photos released by police show the patrol car mangled and the back end crushed following the early morning accident on Georgia State Route 400 near Holcomb Bridge.
Police tell FOX 5 it was just after 2:15 Tuesday morning when one of the officers saw an accident on the interstate and pulled over to the center median to help. Another Alpharetta officer stopped to assist, parking behind the first car, turning on her emergency lights, and getting out to help.
That's when it happened.
"An Infiniti sedan going a high rate of speed plowed into the back of our officer's car without even touching the brakes," Sgt. Howard Miller said.
Police say just before the woman, now identified as Meghan Johnston, hit the patrol car, they say there was already a near-miss accident.
Investigators say they have since learned Johnston chemical test revealed she allegedly was almost three times the legal limit when she was arrested.
"Typically that's not a situation we get out of our cars," Miller said. "She said she had some sort of a bad feeling and decided she had to get out of her car."
Johnston is charged with DUI, failure to yield, and following too closely.