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Pine Bluff officer shares story of crash that almost took his life to help save others

Officer Marvin Cawthon with Pine Bluff police was in a car accident after another driver failed to stop at a stop sign— he shares how following laws saves lives.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — For nearly ten years, Officer Marvin Cawthon has patrolled the streets of Pine Bluff— but when he's off duty, you can find him at his barbershop.

"People know that I'm a police officer, but they know my rule here is that when I'm here, I'm a barber," Cawthon said.

When he's in uniform though, he is part of a task force that cracks down on complaints about speeders and people who run stop signs.

"My personal gripe as far as when I'm policing is people not stopping at stop signs," Cawthon explained.

It's a sentiment that he made evident in a recent Facebook post.

Cawthon hoped that a little humor would help people remember to make complete stops at stop signs.

"Believe it or not, you reach people, you know, and you get people to inboxing you like, hey, you know what, I do need to do better," Cawthon said.

Ironically, the following day, Cawthon was responding to an emergency call when he noticed a vehicle approaching a stop sign.

"I assume they see the stop sign [and] they see a big police car that says police on the side that there'd be no problem," Cawthon said. 

He said that the vehicle didn't come to a complete stop, and though Cawthon did his best to stop his police car, it was too late.

"It was in my lane at that point [and] by that time, I knew I couldn't get around it, so I did my best to stop and we collided," Cawthon recalled.

Since the accident, he has been doing well and continues to visit doctors.

ER doctors said he had a minor concussion after hitting his elbow and knee and hurting his neck.

"I've been going back to the doctor, actually, I've been also going to a chiropractor," Cawthon said.

Initially, he said that he was upset by the incident, but he's still thankful things didn't turn out worse.

"I want people to understand the damage you can cause by not simply following the law," Cawthon said.

He had this message for those who don't follow traffic laws:

"My personal right of safety was taken away from him without my decision, so I would just ask please obey the law," Cawthon said.

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