RAYNHAM (CBS) – All she could do was hold on to the steering wheel.
Bristol County Deputy Sheriff Patricia Allen suffered only some sore muscles after being hit from behind by an alleged drunk driver while guarding a construction crew working on Route 24 in Raynham early Thursday morning.READ MORE: Thousands Honor Slain Danvers Teacher Colleen Ritzer At Annual 5K In Andover
“I said ‘I’m going to get hit’ and that was it, ‘Boom!” she tells WBZ-TV. “It was like watching those crash test dummies in the car when they’re hit with full force.”
Allen says it was the only car on the road and she saw the headlights coming and no braking.
“I watched the car the whole time and laid on the horn a few times,” Allen recalls.
Because of the impact, Allen feared she would find two dead bodies in the car behind her, but found 29-year-old Maria Nunes-DeVeiga allegedly intoxicated and with a lengthy driving record.
“I was trying to talk to her and said ‘Didn’t you see the sign over a mile down the road that the left lane was closed?’ She said she didn’t see anything,” Allen said.
The sheriff’s van was the only barrier between the driver and the three construction workers. Allen took the blow, but knows she saved them.READ MORE: Allegiant Airplane Blows Out Tire After Rough Landing At Logan
It was the third construction zone accident in just four days on Massachusetts roadways, one of them deadly.
Tom O’Day was part of a crew painting lines on I-93 in Medford on Tuesday when he was struck and killed. Police say the crash was caused by a drunk driver.
A MassDOT worker was also injured near the Ted Williams tunnel on Monday.
Allen says she takes every precaution on a detail and has a message for drivers.
“Those guys are working at the edge there. Move over and slow down,” Allen urges.
Based on the damage to the van, Allen says she’s fortunate she wasn’t more seriously injured and won’t soon forget how close she came.MORE NEWS: Male In Norwood Shot Multiple Times, Taken By MedFlight To Boston Hospital
“It was like ‘Oh my god am I going to live?’” Allen remembers thinking.