ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - We're all guilty of it: taking your eyes off the road, texting while driving, fishing through the glove box, even checking on kids in the back seat. But, in a split second, everything can change.
Cpl. Josh Daigre's nameplate on his Alexandria Police Department motorcycle is crushed after an accident that occurred at the end of August. (Source: KALB)
That's what happened to Alexandria Police Department Cpl. Josh Daigre last month. He's part of APD's motorcycle patrol.
Daigre was headed westbound on Coliseum Boulevard on his way to follow up on a hit-and-run investigation when a minivan cut him off. He lived to tell the tale. His motorcycle was a total loss.
"Obviously, it took the breath out of me," Daigre said. "It was a by the book t-bone. I ran into the front left tire of her vehicle and flew over the handlebars of the motorcycle and into the hood of the minivan. I hit the pavement and bounced a few times."
The driver of the minivan was cited for failure to yield after a stop. Daigre was banged up, but not seriously injured.
As he told us, with nearly four years on motor patrol, he has close calls nearly every day - many of them due to distracted drivers. It is almost ironic, given that a good portion of his job focuses on distracted driving enforcement.
"People doing their makeup, digging in consoles," he said. "It can be something as simple as checking the back seat for children. It happens to all of us. Some of it is understandable, some of it can be avoidable."
Daigre said he has watched that frightening body camera video back a few times. It's like reliving it.
"It hits you right in the gut," he told us.
If anything, he hopes the video serves as a reminder of the message he's trying to get across every day.
"We want to try to help show people that these are the things that can happen," he said. "In this situation, it could have been much, much worse. I'm blessed. I'm thankful it wasn't. It kind of comes full circle whether you want it to or not."
Daigre still has some healing to do before he hops back on his motorcycle. He did tell us the driver of the minivan has stopped by APD to check with his co-workers on how he's healing.
He said he still plans to stay on motorcycle patrol.