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Arizona DPS Director Milstead hit and injured by distracted driver

Director or Arizona DPS Frank Milstead (Facebook Photo | AZWIN Arizona Women's Initiative Network)

PHOENIX — Just about a month before Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a new law banning distracted driving in the state, state Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead had his own scary incident with a distracted driver.

On March 4, Milstead was driving to the department’s headquarters in his state vehicle.

As he was waiting to turn left at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard, he was struck by a man who was apparently distracted by his phone while driving.

Col. Frank Milstead’s hand. (Courtesy of Col. Frank Milstead)

“I saw him holding his phone and as I was looking at him I thought to myself, I think this guy is going to hit me… and then bam!” Milstead told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

Milstead believes he must have had his tires slightly cocked as he was waiting to turn left because when the distracted driver hit him, he scraped the tire and rest of the car along the side of his marked state vehicle.

“Apparently I had the wheel cocked just a little bit because when the car hit the rubber of the wheel it pulled it and my thumb was in the steering wheel and it got caught, ripping off the ligaments,” Milstead said.

Milstead says the distracted driver’s car’s airbags went off but no one was injured.

With the accident occurring on Phoenix city streets, police responded and ticketed the man for several citations.

Milstead is in a cast and recovering.

“I miss exercising,” Milstead said. “I can’t wait to go out and mountain bike.”

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