Interstate 35E and President George Bush Turnpike. (Credit: Google Maps)

CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A five-year veteran of the Carrollton Police Department, Officer Jeff Salle said helping those in need is what motivated him to join the force.

Last weekend, it almost got him killed.

He’d stopped to help a stranded motorist on Interstate 35E near the George Bush Turnpike.

The motorist had run out of gas and was parked on the right shoulder.

Sallee parked behind the motorist, angling his car to block the right lane of traffic, just as he was taught during training in the police academy, he said.

That move proved to be crucial.

“We’re trained to move our cars over to the left to protect the individuals in the car and ourselves,” said Sallee.

As Sallee watched oncoming northbound traffic, he noticed a car approaching so fast he knew it wasn’t going to stop in time. Sallee yelled for the stranded motorists to get out of the way.

“We proceeded to run east bound and jumped over the guardrail then we heard the loud bang,” he said.

A suspected drunken driver plowed into the rear of Sallee’s police cruiser. The car is so mangled that the inside of the vehicle is unrecognizable.

“It sounded like a cannon going off,” he said. “It’s pretty scary; I’m just thankful I’m still here to do this job I love.”

Sallee and the other driver made it to safety just in time.

The 28 year old says he will always remember that night and has a message for all drivers on the road.

“Please don’t drink and drive. Slow down and move over and give us as much room as possible,” he said

The name of the woman driving the car has not been released. She was taken to Parkland hospital her condition is unknown. There was also a seven-year-old boy in the car at the time of the accident.

Carrollton Police say they expect to file drunken driving and intoxication assault charges.