Police Officer Struck by a Drunk Driver

November 9, 2011 Updated Nov 10, 2011 at 9:43 AM EDT

By WKBW Admin

November 9, 2011 Updated Nov 10, 2011 at 9:43 AM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW) It was a scary scene on Buffalo's East Side Tuesday night after a Buffalo Police officer was hit by a car while helping a broken down vehicle. One night later, that officer is recovering and the person who hit him is under arrest.

Officials say Buffalo Police Officer Ivan Watkins was helping with a car along side of the road near the intersection of Best Street and Sweeny when another vehicle struck the officer. Officer Watkins was then taken to the hospital with head, leg, and hip injuries. Officials say he is recovering in fair condition. The driver, identified as 54 year old James Robinson of Buffalo has been charged with DWI and assault.

"The vehicle just plowed, it never slowed down, right into the back of the police car," Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, "luckily for the officer he was offset from the back of the police car, because if he had come within a foot of being smashed in between the two cars, then I think we would have a different set of circumstances today."

Commissioner Derenda said he has known Officer Watkins for twenty years and that he is one of the hardest working patrol officers on the force.

"We pray for our officers every day, that they do the right thing, and that they come home safely. But that always doesn't happen. In this case we believe Officer Watkins did everything he was supposed to in this case, and you have a situation with a drunk driver, we've seen it before, we've seen numerous accidents this year that are fatalities involving drunk drivers and thank god this wasn't one of them," Derenda said.

Police say the accident investigation unit will continue to look at what exactly happened, but know that it could have easily been prevented if the other driver had not been drinking and driving.