SAN MARCOS, Texas - A San Marcos police officer who was hit by a suspected drunk driver is sharing her story.
Officer Claudia Cormier bravely held herself up and detailed the horrific day she was hit by a suspected drunk driver.
On May 19, Cormier was responding to a call about debris on I-35 when she was struck. Cormier recalls being able to crawl onto the grassy embankment but could not radio for help.
"I did not remember how loud I was screaming but I was overpowered by someone else screaming I'm a nurse and suddenly I saw a woman in a dress running towards me as she kept screaming I'm a nurse I'm going to help you,” Cormier said. “I felt her hand touch my neck and noticed there were several motorists now surrounding me."
Another woman held onto Cormier and prayed with her until help arrived. Cormier's husband responded and she was rushed to the hospital, thinking she wasn't going to survive.
"I could not describe how excruciating the pain was and I admit I asked my husband to let me go on several occasions. I felt that everything I accomplished was all that I could do that it was my time to go," said Cormier as she fought back tears.
Cormier had more than 20 surgeries, 100 stitches and staples, a metal rod placed in her left leg and lost her right leg. Cormier spent months rehabilitating.
"After a rough first session and evaluation I felt that walking again was not going to happen as soon as I had thought and my dream of going back to work seemed impossible," Cormier said. “After my husband and I were able to hold and comfort each other we decided to forgive the individuals involved and hoped that they could also move on with their lives. I didn’t want to live in hate or let the accident take anymore from me than it already had.”
Over time, Cormier was able to stand and little by little she was able to gain back her strength. By August, Officer Cormier was released from the hospital and the San Marcos community welcomed her with open arms. Grateful for all the love and support she received during recovery Cormier said she's coming back to the force stronger than ever.
"The bond I share with my brothers and sisters in blue has pushed me to work harder and to be better than before and to always strive for excellence and to all those who were that night I will forever be thankful for saving my life,” said Cormier.
Cormier still has a year or two left of recovery. Interim Police Chief Bob Klett said he believes Cormier will be able to get back on the streets soon.
Watch the entire press conference here: