2002 Meeker High grad in first year on Craig police force
MEEKER — Talk about a close call.
First-year Craig police officer and 2002 Meeker High School graduate Tony Gianinetti escaped serious injury after being hit by a car Saturday morning while investigating the scene of an accident from the previous night.
“It was a pretty close call,” Gianinetti said.
That’s putting it mildly.
Gianinetti was struck by a 2001 Dodge Durango.
“It hurt … it felt like I got hit by a car,” Gianinetti said, his sense of humor intact. “I went flying. I think they said I went about 18 or 20 feet in the air, from the (vehicle) to where I landed.”
The driver of the Durango, Joel Tuck of Dinosaur, was cited for careless driving resulting in bodily injury and no proof of insurance, according to the Craig Daily Press.
Gianinetti was taken to Memorial Hospital in Craig, where he was kept overnight for observation.
“Luckily, nothing was broken, just deep bruises,” Gianinetti said. “I was pretty lucky. I should go get a lottery ticket.”
While still sore, Gianinetti said he looked forward to returning to work.
“I’d like to get back as soon as I can,” he said.
Gianinetti was standing outside his patrol vehicle when the Durango skidded off the side of the road and hit him. He didn’t see the vehicle approaching.
“It was real icy, it went out of control and just happened to hit me,” Gianinetti said.
He had little warning.
“I was talking with (the owner of the property whose fence has been damaged the night before) and she said, ‘Watch out,’” Gianinetti said. “I just jumped up in the air and went for a little ride. It was just kind of a reaction. I didn’t want to go underneath the (vehicle), so I just jumped. It hit me on the lower back.”
After the night in the hospital, Gianinetti came to Meeker to recuperate at the home of his mother, Jean Gianinetti.
“It scares me when I got to thinking about (what happened),” Jean said. “But he’s OK. Most of the damage is on the inside, but he’s good. He must have drank a lot of milk as a kid. He also had on his (protective) vest. That must have helped.”
Asked if she worried about her son being a police officer, Jean, said, “I just pray. That about covers it.”