ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) --An Orange Police Department officer is recovering weeks after being struck in a horrific crash involving a suspected DUI driver.
Officer Sharif Muzayen, a husband and father of two young children, was standing behind his police cruiser while responding to a call Dec. 10 when the suspect slammed into him. The collision left Muzayen pinned underneath the driver's vehicle and seriously injured.
Five weeks after the incident, the officer has been released from the hospital and is recovering.
"I never believed I was going to die, not at any point in time," said Muzayen, whose doctors were initially uncertain whether he would survive.
In an interview, the Marine Corps veteran recalled the crash that resulted in his suffering a brain bleed and severe injuries to his left leg, including a femoral artery.
"Parts of the engine, fluids - all that stuff comes together, makes a very distinctive smell," Muzayen said. "So I remember that smell vividly."
After undergoing countless surgeries, the officer has returned home accompanied by his wife, 8-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.
"It's awesome - even in my little hospital bed downstairs in our house, she goes to sleep beside me," Muzayen said.
During his recovery, he has received an outpouring of support from fellow Marines, police departments and the community.
"I never expected any of this," he said. "It's amazing. How great these people are, and I just want to thank all of them."
Before the collision, Muzayen was passionate about stopping drunk drivers. His own injuries have only reinvigorated him.
"I will continue to look for DUI drivers," he vowed, "and I will continue to get them off the streets."
As his occupational and physical therapy continued, the policeman said he was focused on returning to work.
"I'm going to keep fighting until I can get back in that uniform. There's only one goal for me."