CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Former police officer Michael Love reveled in his police work.
In an exclusive interview with KRIS6 News, Love described the night he was severely injured by an alleged drunken driver and his long road to recovery.
It's the first time he has opened up about the accident in January 2020 that ultimately ended his career and also claimed the life of his fellow brother in blue, Officer Alan McCollum.
"It was probably the worst night of a lot of people's lives and for people who had to witness it and experience it," Love said.
On Jan. 31, 2020, Love was conducting a traffic stop along South Padre Island Drive in his work with the Corpus Christi Police Department. It's when McCollum also arrived on the scene to assist.
That's when a truck driven by Brandon Portillo crashed into both of their patrol units, police said.
The injuries Love sustained left him in critically injured.
"I had broken four bones, I had a floating pelvis, my labrum, some of my disks were messed up and there was spinal fluid leakage from one or two of them," said Love, who also had both femurs crashed during the accident.
McCollum fell to his death at the Carroll Lane overpass. But it would be the weeks and months ahead that Love says, would test him physically and mentally and ultimately leading to his decision to the leave the department after four years of service.
"It sucked honestly," Love said. "It was something you plan for and plan the future of your family and what's going to happen and it all came crushing down that day."
His road to recovery has been a grueling one, Love said.
Almost two years later, he still deals with pain daily and has trouble walking and sitting for long periods of time. He credits those closest to him for pushing him forward even during his darkest moments.
"If I didn't have my wife and especially her and my kids, her family and my family, even the Corpus Christi hardcore scene and metal head dudes, those five things and some really close friends helped hold me together," Love said. "If I had to go through it by myself, I probably wouldn't be here today."
Love, his wife Lauren, and their two children have since moved to Hawaii, to be closer to family.
Although he's not doing the career he had once planned for, he says he's found peace again.
"That was the last place we were happy," Love said. "And feeling trapped in our house and not being able to walk, having to roll around in a walker, you just feel trapped."
The change has been good for his physically and mental health, he says.
"It's helped immensely. Here and there we still have things we have deal with and work through just like any other family," Love said. "Overall, mentally it's been a way better change."
Portillo, the man allegedly responsible for the crash, has been indicted on three charges including intoxication manslaughter, causing the death of a peace officer and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury to a peace officer.