05/26/2008

Vest saves officer from being impaled

DALLAS — Body armor is designed to shield police from flying bullets. But the protective gear took on an unexpected function late Thursday night after an officer's squad car tangled with a suspected drunk driver in Oak Cliff.

As it turns out, the bulletproof vest is also fence post-proof.

Just before midnight, two squad cars were driving south in the 800 block of Westmoreland Avenue when, police say, the suspect's Chevrolet Tahoe turned in front of them.

One cruiser collided with the SUV; the other police car crashed into a fence.

A six-foot fence post jammed into the chest of Officer Larry Ashley, 30, but his bulletproof vest kept it from impaling him.

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