MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In part 3 of a 4 part series on the Move Over Law, we tell you the tragic story of a Lumberton Police Officer who was killed while working a crash scene in December and another story of survival from a Myrtle Beach Officer who has been hit more than once.
Myrtle Beach Police Department Officer David Giosa took me back to the time his life was almost taken from him, telling me though it’s been nearly six years, he can still vividly remember the night.
“This is honestly the first time over the last five years that I’ve come and sat here since that collision,” Myrtle Beach police officer David Giosa said.
Just after midnight on June 30, 2013, Giosa was on the scene of a car crash on Highway 17 Bypass near Broadway at the Beach when he was hit by a drunk driver.
“I was standing off in the grassy area right around here when I got struck by the vehicle," Giosa said. "I got thrown up about 20 feet from where I got struck and landed in that grassy median right here. I still remember the feeling of flipping through the air and thinking in my head I just got struck by a vehicle.”
Metals plates, stables and stitches pieced Giosa back together, but months after his recovery, he was hit again.
“I was stopped on the side of the road investigating that collision with my blue lights activated and a vehicle came around that curve and rear-ended my patrol car,” Giosa said.
The driver who hit Giosa in 2013 was initially charged with felony DUI because of the extent of the officer’s injuries but plead down to DUI first offense.
The driver who hit him the second time received citations for distracted driving and texting while driving.
Giosa said he knows he is lucky to be alive especially after the Lumberton Police Department lost one of their own on December 15, 2018, when Officer Jason Quick was investigating a crash on I-95 at Exit 22.
“They were coming back down the exit ramp and he was going to go over and talk with them and upon doing that a vehicle struck him,” Chief Tommy Barnes with Lumberton Police Department said.
“I just woke up that morning," Lumberton police officer John Scott said. "I was home when my father called me and initially he said Jason had been hit on the side of the road and he was at the hospital and I jumped up and got clothes on and when I was walking out the door he called me back to tell me he had passed away.”
Officer Jason Quick was the fourth LPD officer to be hit while working on the side of the road and the first to be killed.
“In 1994, an officer named Bobby Maring was struck. Bobby Wilcox was struck in 1996. William Reed was struck in 2007 on I-95. In December Officer Quick was killed on I-95,” Barnes said.
None of the injured men ever returned to work as a police officer after being hit. Now, nearly three months after Quick’s death, it isn’t any easier to process for those who knew him best.
“I find days when I want to pick up the phone to call him because we talked every day," Scott said. "The day before he died, he called me. He was excited because he was in the process of getting a house.”
When it comes to the Move Over law, after 31 years of being a law enforcement officer, Barnes said when you get behind the wheel you need be mindful of your surroundings.
“The biggest thing is when you see those lights flash, you just need to slow down," Barnes said. "You need to have the mindset of something is going on. They’re either checking license or they’ve got a vehicle stopped or they are investigating a motor vehicle accident. They’re doing something, I need to slow down and move over if possible, without getting in a wreck yourself.”
Though officers said getting hit by a car on the job is always a possibility, they still never expect it.
“I always thought this wasn’t something that could happen to me, this is something that happens on movies, it happens on Tv, it happens on cop shows but this real-life stuff happens to real life people,” Giosa said.
“I personally know officer Quick kissed his wife and his children goodbye with the expectation that he was coming back home that night and that’s something that we all do," Scott said. "We all know that at any time in this line of work we could lose our lives but we come to work with the expectation that we are going to go back home.”