DAVIE, Fla. – Wearing a foot brace and nursing a broken toe, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he felt blessed to be alive after an evening run near his home ended with a trip to the hospital after he was hit by a car.
"I'm here, I'm back to work and I'm ready to go," Israel said during a press conference Wednesday.
A Davie police representative said Israel was jogging north on Hiatus just after 9 p.m. and the driver, Donna Henderson, 64, struck the sheriff while making a left turn onto 42nd Court. The sheriff was struck by a side mirror, which knocked him down.
Israel said he saw the truck and thought nothing of it until the driver made a sharp turn, hitting him.
"Not only was it a radical turn, but instead of making a smooth turn going into the far side, she cut the corner and knifed onto 42nd coming right at me," Israel said.
Henderson stayed at the scene and called 911.
"I was coming around into my street, and a man came out of nowhere and I hit him," Henderson said to an emergency dispatcher.
According to authorities, the sheriff was wearing reflective sneakers, reflective shorts and a light-colored shirt. There are also street lights in the area.
Israel was taken to Cleveland Clinic with minor injuries, BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said. He was treated and released.
His left foot was run over by the truck's left-side rear tire, a traffic crash report said.
The sheriff told Local 10 News Wednesday morning he was "bruised pretty good" and suffered a broken toe but was otherwise lucky.
"I don't know that there's a more fortunate sheriff in the United States of America than me," Israel said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "God had me covered, and I'm very grateful that what happened happened and nothing worse."
David Simonin witnessed the incident. He told Local 10 News that Israel was "complaining of (injuries to) his foot and leg."
Simonin said the sheriff called 911.
Meanwhile, the sheriff kept his sense of humor when some of the people who stopped to help and recognized him.
"He said, ma'am, you just hit the sheriff of Broward County," Israel said about a witness. "She got very excited,and I said, 'calm down and just get the ambulance here.'"
Henderson received a citation for failure to use due care, police said.
Israel said that while he isn't happy with the way Henderson was driving, "she was an incredibly nice woman."
"She stopped to render aid, asked me what I needed, called 911, stood by me the whole time, so I would just like to thank her," Israel said.
According to residents in the area, the shrubs near the intersection are too high and too close to the road for drivers to notice people jogging or riding their bicycles near the intersection.
"If you try to exit this area, you can't see bicycles or pedestrians in the daylight or at night, so it's a real hazard," Ed Middlebrooks told Local 10 News. "I wrote the city about it a couple of years ago. They did nothing about it."
Davie police are investigating the crash.
Israel said that doctors told him that he should fully recover in four to six weeks.
Local 10 News attempted to speak to Henderson, who declined to speak fully.
"This thing has me very distraught, so please just go away and leave me alone," Henderson said. "I'm not going to give you any comment."