He was nearly killed in a fiery crash on Christmas Eve in Houston, Texas.
And on Thursday, Officer John Daily was finally able to head home, walking out of the hospital he’s been in for nearly six months.
He was greeted by dozens of fellow HPD officers.
“It is a great day today,” said Asst. Chief Troy Finner.
Daily and another officer were hurt in a head-on crash along Telephone Road. When the cars collided, their police unit flipped over and caught fire.
Daily was burned on 50 percent of his body, including 2nd and 3rd degree burns on each of his arms and legs, as well as his face, stomach and chest. He’s had at least five surgeries.
Thursday, with his arms and hands wrapped in bandages and his face red and scarred, Daily walked out of TIRR Memorial Hermann with his badge number 9607 around his neck.
For Daily, it’s a reminder of the job to which he may never fully return.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to, but I’m definitely going to try,” said Daily. “That’s a pill I haven’t gotten over yet. “So, we’ll see.”
Daily shared his gratitude for the hospital staff, his family and the police department for their support.
“It was officers it was chiefs it was Das it was just great people, ministers, just a run of people they’d come and talk… and that was really what got me thought it,” Daily said.
He’s got more intense rehab coming, but he also plans on using the experience to teach others. He said he wants to focus on combating drunk driving, which he considers an epidemic in the Houston area.
“It’s definitely an issue,” said Daily. “You know, any officer at the department will tell you, you know, you can’t go a day without running into a drunk here in Harris County.” “It’s ridiculous.”
Daily said he the City of Houston has his six well beyond the hospital.
“We’re going to be right there with him,” said Finner.
On Monday, charges against the man accused of hitting the two officers were dismissed, according to court records.
Cesar Collazo, 23, was charged with two counts of felony intoxication assault on a peace officer and two counts of failure to stop and render aid.
Police say he took off after hitting the patrol car on Christmas Even in 2018.
But DNA evidence proved Collazo was not driving that night, Collazo’s lawyer, Alma Garcia, confirmed that Collazo’s charges have been dismissed because her client was not behind the wheel.
According to Garcia, Collazo’s brother-in-law, Leonel Moreno, was driving and has been charged.
Court records show Moreno was charged with two counts of failure to stop and render aid on May 6 in connection with this case, but as of this report, he has not been arrested.
Officer Reid was able to quickly escape the police car after the crash.
With the help of someone driving by, Reid pulled Daily from the fiery wreckage.
Reid suffered burns to his lower left leg and hands.