PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 21-year-old Philadelphia man was immediately carted off to jail on Tuesday after being sentenced to 6-12 years in prison for a DUI crash in June of last year that nearly killed two police officers in Port Richmond.

Philadelphia police officers Richard Hayes and George Higginson were in the midst of a car stop on Aramingo Avenue near I-95 when defendant John Cusik (above), speeding and under the influence of drugs and alcohol, plowed into their cruiser and the car they had stopped, sending both officers flying.

Both officers went flying, were knocked unconscious, and listed in critical condition with head injuries. Doctors didn’t know if Officer Hayes would live or die — he was in a coma and later needed months of rehab to learn to talk, count, walk, remember even his children’s birthdays and his own anniversary.

Officer Higginson, who only remembers being asked by nurses if he was an organ donor, reacted Tuesday to the sentence.

“Well, he got his yearly sentence and I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” he said.  “I will not ever be able to forget it, so this is a life sentence for me.  Though he got his 6 to 12, it’s a far cry from what I have to endure.”

Through courage and sheer determination, both officers have returned to duty.

Reported By Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio

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