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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2007
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Woman arrested after hitting Moulton policeman with car

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON — A Moulton police officer is lucky to be alive after a drunk driver hit him during a routine traffic stop, said Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter.

Officer Bob Ardt pulled a vehicle over on Alabama 24 at about 10 p.m. Monday. While he was talking to the driver, another vehicle sped past him.

"The car just barely grazed him, possibly with the mirror," said McWhorter. "The other car was a few feet from the highway, so she would have had to almost be off the road to hit him."

Ardt was not injured. He jumped into his patrol car and pulled the driver over.

Police arrested Joy Eli, 41, of 2244 Alabama 101, Town Creek. She is charged with driving under the influence, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment.

McWhorter said police also charged Eli with a lesser-known citation pertaining to the state's "move-over" law.

The law requires drivers on four-lane roads to move into the lane farthest from police and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. If other vehicles already occupy that lane, drivers are required to slow to a safe speed.

"I tell my officers during our safety training that more police officers are killed in traffic stops than are shot," he said. "... He's lucky he wasn't severely injured or killed."

The Lawrence County Jail released Eli on Tuesday on $7,300 bond.

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