In court, injured deputy forgives driver

- Hillsborough County Deputy Tim Berg nearly died on December 22, 2015.  Fourteen months later he's facing the defendant responsible for it.

"I've never told an impaired driver that I forgive them until today," said Berg. "Mr. Cooper, you are forgiven."

Assistant state prosecutor Barbara Coleman says Kenneth Cooper was strung out on drugs when he slammed into Deputy Berg's motorcycle while he sat at a red light.  "He was on morphine and oxycodone in his system, and he also suffered signs of impairment at the scene shortly after the crash."

The crash caused a chain reaction with several other vehicles.  Deputy Berg ended up trapped and pinned between two cars.  His injuries were extensive his recovery has been intense.

"It was that choice that caused me to spend two weeks in the hospital undergoing major surgery to repair my broken ankle, fractured pelvis," said Berg.

That led to blood clots, and even a stroke.

"It was that choice that left my wife wondering if I would ever remember her and my kids after the stroke I suffered that affected multiple areas of my brain," Berg continued.

During a hearing, Cooper agreed to a deal that would send him away for four years, followed by two years of probation. 

Before heading to prison, he asked to speak.

"I would like to apologize to the Berg family," he said.  "I know I can never take that day back, I can only move on from here.  But I do apologize for everything that happened.  I will work towards progress."

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