CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — A state trooper, who almost died when he was hit by a car on the job last year, returned to work Monday.
“Just like any other day, just putting my shoes on, just doing it,” said NC Highway Patrol Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo.
But this isn’t just any other day.
“My wife was nervous, but she knows what I like to do,” said Lopez-Alcedo.
He’s hopped in his patrol car hundreds of times, but this is the first since July 4, 2020.
“We were talking about where we’re going to meet on the interstate. I drove down to the interstate and that’s all I can remember,” said Lopez-Alcedo recalling the day he was investigating a deadly crash.
He doesn’t remember a driver crashing into his patrol car or the chain reaction of his own patrol car crushing him, just the long, hard hospital stay.
“They were asking me if I could bathe myself. I’m 32 years old. I’m sure I could, but I had trouble raising my arms,” said Lopez-Alcedo.
The Highway Patrol says Trooper Lopez-Alcedo suffered severe brain injuries and broken ribs.
He had multiple surgeries and intense physical therapy.
“I did have doubts and I believe the hardest part of coming back was being away from my family for 12 weeks,” said Lopez-Alcedo.
He had a tearful reunion with his family and a push from his 13-year-old son.
“My son — he was the one that pushed me during pushups. He was the one that said, ‘You’re not doing it right. You gotta do it right.’ He made it so easy, he was doing it one hand. I’m like. ‘Dang it! I wish I could do that.”
Lopez-Alcedo still has some physical therapy left to do. He says he’s just going to take it one day at a time, happy to be back doing the job he loves.