Newburgh Heights police officer speaks after surviving crash - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Newburgh Heights police officer speaks after surviving crash

Officer Shawn Finch has been hit by two drunk drivers in his lifetime. (Source: WOIO) Officer Shawn Finch has been hit by two drunk drivers in his lifetime. (Source: WOIO)
As a reminder to not drink and drive this holiday season, Finch's vehicle is on display outside the Newburgh Heights Police Department. (Source: WOIO) As a reminder to not drink and drive this holiday season, Finch's vehicle is on display outside the Newburgh Heights Police Department. (Source: WOIO)
Finch says it's hard to look at the aftermath of his cruiser. (Source: WOIO) Finch says it's hard to look at the aftermath of his cruiser. (Source: WOIO)
NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - The Newburgh Heights police officer who was hit by a suspected drunk driver on I-77 is telling his story as he continues his recovery. 

Officer Shawn Finch calls himself a drunk driver magnet. Friday's incident was the second time he has been hit by a drunk driver, and somehow, managed to walk away.

For anyone who has been in a major crash, one of the shocks is when you see the vehicle afterwards.

"A lot of emotions hitting me at once, just seeing that car," said Finch.

On Friday night, Officer Finch was pulling onto I-77 to stop a speeding vehicle, when a suspected drunk driver pulled into his lane and smashed into him. 

"The next thing, I heard a loud explosion. I'm spinning down the highway," recalled Finch.

Salvatore Calo caused the crash and could be charged with drunk driving, as well as driving with a suspended license. Rescuers say they could smell alcohol on Calo's breath. Calo also has two previous drunk driving convictions. At last check, he was still in the hospital.

"I don't even have a response for that man. He made bad judgement calls, that's all I can say," said Finch.

Back in 2000 before Finch was an officer, he and his wife were hit by a drunk driver in the Akron area. 

"I guess I'm a drunk driver magnet, apparently," said Finch.

You might be amazed to hear Finch say when he was hit on Friday, at least he was able to do his job. 

"I do the job I love. I'm out there to serve and protect. And I feel - in kind of a weird way - I did serve and protect that night, and took the hit, instead of a family of four going to dinner or something," explained Finch.

As a reminder to not drink and drive this holiday season, the Newburgh Heights Police Department has decided to leaved the mangled mess outside the station. 

Officer Finch sustained some bruised ribs, knee, sprained ankle and a concussion. He also survived an IED attack on a tour in Iraq. None of this, he says, will keep him from getting back out there when he's cleared by his doctor.  

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