A Florida state trooper was seriously injured after being struck and tossed in the air by a spinning, out-of-control car along a busy interstate Monday — just seconds after the trooper pushed another man out of harm’s way.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Trooper Mithil Patel, 31, was standing on the side of Interstate 95 north of West Palm Beach as part of an accident investigation.
As Patel was on the side of the road a truck ran into the back of a black Audi in a nearby lane, sending the vehicle spinning out of control towards the trooper. Video of the terrifying incident was captured by CBS12, which was covering the original accident.
Patel then pushed another man to the side before Patel was struck by the vehicle.
The man Patel pushed out of the way, Rony Bottex, told WPTV he hasn’t stopped praying for the trooper who saved his life.
“If he wasn’t there, if the officer wasn’t there, I’d be dead,” Bottex told the television station.
Patel was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach and was reported to be in good condition, according to CBS12.
While authorities said the crash remains under investigation, they also stressed motorists should always remain cautious when first responders are tending to incidents on roadways.
“Please remember to #moveover or slow down for First Responders. Let’s all do our part in preventing a tragedy,” the FHP’s Troop 3 in Miami tweeted.