Florida Trooper Risks Life to Stop Drunk Driver from Hitting Runners in 10K Race

The collision when the rogue motorist collided head-on with her patrol car was caught on tape.

Florida Drunk Driver Crash
Photo: Courtesy of the Florida Highway Patrol

A Florida state trooper is being hailed as a hero after she used her vehicle to block a speeding drunk driver from a bridge where thousands were running a charity race.

On Sunday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol was alerted to a BMW driving at an "excessive rate of speed" on I-275, traveling toward the road closure on the south end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida. The driver sped past several barricades and traffic cones rerouting traffic for the race and even bypassed state officers who attempt to conduct a traffic stop.

In a last line of defense, Trooper Toni Schuck, a 26-year veteran of the FHP, maneuvered her car to block the speeding motorist, placing herself directly in the path of the oncoming driver. Seconds later, the driver, later identified as Kristin Kay Watts of Sarasota, Florida, crashed nearly head-on with Trooper Schuck's patrol car, a 2019 Chevy Tahoe.

Manatee Crash (5)
Courtesy of the Florida Highway Patrol

In a Facebook post made by the Florida Highway Patrol on Monday, you can see dashcam footage of the crash directly from Schuck's perspective.

Both women were injured in the collision and taken to an area hospital for treatment. Since then, Schuck has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Trooper Schuck's quick thinking and brave actions prevented a potential tragedy. If the driver was able to reach the bridge, the lives of more than 7,000 people running the Armed Forces Skyway 10K Race would have been put at risk.

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Following the incident, the driver was charged with DUI serious injury, two counts of reckless drive damage person or property, and two counts of DUI damage to property or person of another.

We're wishing Trooper Schuck a speedy recovery! Florida is lucky to have her!

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