A Florida Highway Patrol trooper assists a driver stopped along I-95 with a blown tire, narrowly escapes a collision with a pickup truck.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper and the driver he stopped to help are lucky to be alive after dodging a pickup truck that hurtled toward them and away from a three-car chain-reaction crash as traffic sped along I-95.
The stranded driver suffered minor injuries to her legs in the crash. Fire rescue took her to JFK Medical Center for treatment. More information about her condition was not available.
The silver pickup had just been involved in a three-car, chain-reaction crash before it slammed into the parked SUV trooper Dominic Alexandre was helping on the northbound exit ramp to Hypoluxo Road around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, FHP said.
Alexandre’s dashcam video shows him and the driver talking and inspecting the left side of the white SUV, which had blown a tire, with I-95 northbound traffic to the left. Alexandre heard tires screeching and noticed the out-of-control pickup just in the nick of time to jump out of the way before it sideswiped the SUV right where he was standing seconds before.
The pickup lurched forward and hit the driver, who sustained minor injuries, FHP said. The trooper wasn’t harmed.
Once the situation calmed down, he ran toward the woman he had been helping, who was lying on the ground, he said. The driver of the silver pickup truck also got out to help, Alexandre said.
“It’s a miracle,” he said Friday at a news conference. “I was able to hear the screeching sound of the pickup truck, and I glanced to my left and I had a split second decision to make.”
Alexandre attributed his survival to his faith in God. He said he always prays before work, and he prayed when he returned home from what could have been a deadly encounter.
“During that split second decision, a screeching sound is not a good sound to hear,” he said. “You hear it all the time. I was very fortunate and very lucky. There’s countless troopers I know who are not so lucky. They died or got seriously hurt…. These are career-ending events. I always look up to the man above that protected me.”
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He urged drivers to slow down anytime they see law enforcement, fire rescue, tow trucks or garbage trucks on the side of the highway. Even after the pickup sideswiped the sedan, he said cars were still speeding past at 60, 70, and 80 miles per hour.
“It was very frightening,” he said, adding that he worried speeding cars could have caused another crash. “Slow down. Pay attention to what’s in front of you.”
Once the driver went to the hospital, Alexandre turned to investigating the three-car crash. Two drivers involved were not hurt, and he determined the driver who likely caused the crash had driven off, making it a hit and run crash, he said.
Alexandre wasn’t able to determine the make and model of the sedan that caused the three-car crash. FHP is searching for the sedan and its driver. They asked anyone with information to contact FHP at *347 or Crime Stoppers.