Saturday Jan 22 2011
Officer’s wife: After near-death crash, he’s back in joking mood
By: Lien Hoang, The Press Tribune
DUI suspected; Victim required 5-hour brain surgery
The wife of a Sacramento police officer said she thought her husband was going to die after an intoxicated driver hit him, but he’s now recovering — with a sense of humor. “He asked if he was pretty,” Stephanie Daniels said of husband Bobby Daniels, after he underwent brain surgery for five hours Saturday. That afternoon, the Daniels family were heading to lunch at Chili’s, on the southwest corner of Fairway Drive and Blue Oaks Boulevard. As Bobby Daniels stood outside, Ilia Arthur Wong of Roseville, missed a turn onto southbound Fairway Drive, driving onto the sidewalk and hitting 47-year-old Daniels. Stephanie Daniels said at a press conference Monday that she relived the moment, walking through alternative scenarios — what if the family had gotten there earlier, as planned? What if her husband hadn’t handed their 8-month-old daughter to another daughter just before the impact? Bobby Daniels, a 15-year veteran of the Sacramento Police Department, suffered a depressed skull fracture, bruised lungs, broken ribs and road rash, his wife said at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was being treated. In addition to experiencing nausea, he has required 63 centimeters of staples in his head. “He’s been sick nonstop for two days,” said Stephanie Daniels, a Sacramento County Sheriffs deputy. The Roseville Police and Fire Departments responded to the crash at approximately 1:55 p.m. Saturday. Wong, 20, is being held at the Placer County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants, causing injury. Bail was set at $50,000, with an arraignment scheduled for Tuesday. Sacramento Police spokeswoman Laura Peck expressed frustration that reporters have contacted Stephanie Daniels at her home and on her cell phone. Peck said the family would not answer questions about the crash’s circumstances. Stephanie Daniels said her husband has two daughters, whose mother died from cancer. She teared up in recalling the words of one daughter: “I can’t lose my dad, too.” Bobby Daniels’ recovery has been “a miracle,” according to his wife, who said in response to a question about whether she was religious: “I’m a spiritual woman.” She thanked Sacramento police for their help, joking that she now had enough food for two years. But she had no advice for others who might go through what she has. “You can’t say this won’t happen to another family, this happens every day,” she said. Daniel Wetter contributed to this report. Lien Hoang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.