By Robin Rieger
MILLVILLE, NJ (CBS) – “Coming back to work brings up so many emotions,” says Millville patrolman Johnathan Seidel. He bears visible scars from the repair of two broken bones in his left forearm. But on his heart, there are scars you can’t see from the July 8th crash that killed Millville Patrolman Christopher Reeves.
“I remember bits and pieces of that night,” Seidel says.
And though he’s back to work on light duty, the crash is never far from Seidel’s mind. He was in training in the passenger seat of Reeves’ cruiser. Seidel suffered a concussion, a broken rib and a punctured lung when their vehicle was struck at 3rd and Broad by a car Millville police were pursuing.
“I think I realized my injuries were serious as they were loading me onto the helicopter,” Seidel remembers.
It was Seidel’s 13th day on the job after transferring from the Salem County Sheriff’s Department. Driver Timothy Seidel, no relation to Johnathan, is charged with vehicular homicide, DWI and related offenses.
“It really drives home point that one, what police officers do is dangerous. I’d be lying if I said I don’t have fear, but I want to overcome that and get back out on patrol,” Johnathan Seidel says.
He also says he lives for his wife and son, who is the same age as Reeves’ son. He thinks of the loss and doesn’t take one minute for granted.
“It’s easy me to interchange myself with him in that car, and any little part of that situation changes the outcomes,” Seidel admits.
Christopher Reeves’ wife, Susan, who is also a Millville police officer, said off camera that she plans to return to work in January. The sick time she is losing while on family medical leave is being made up by fellow officers, who are giving their sick time to her.