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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Every forward motion he makes represents a meaningful stride in the life of Tim Hayes.
He uses prosthetic legs to get around.
"Today I feel that the men and women of law enforcement, EMS, and fire are safer than what they were 10 years ago," he said.
10 years ago, life changed in an instant.
A chain reaction wreck in the snow left Hayes pinned against an I-77 guard rail, as he was answering an earlier call.
Bobby Suarez was his partner on the road that day.
"His body was detached from his legs and thrown 75 feet from there," Suarez recalled.
Another responder who went to the scene, former WBTV reporter Melinda Law, who relayed it to viewers this way.
"I know traffic is bad,"Law said." I know that it's backed up for miles, but you have to remember there is a man who lost both of his right where I'm standing."
It has not been all negative for Hayes.
"There are too many great things that have come out of this," he said.
He's speaking of North Carolina's Move Over law.It protects first responders and utility workers stopped along side our highways. Hayes is grateful for the law, but also for the team who helped save his life.
"my wife and I have added two kids to family we have Gabriel who is seven and Sarah who is four it's because of the quick action of these gentlemen behind me."
He also has a tip for drivers, "stay safe and move over."
And these days, Tim Hayes with moves with pride considering so many said he would never walk again.