Florida: Trooper Toni Schuck, a Florida highway patrol trooper, was presented with the “Back the Blue” award for her courageous efforts in preventing a drunk driver from crashing into a local race path. Her decision to intervene saved scores of people from getting seriously injured, even killed.
Trp. Schuck put herself in serious danger when she chose, with very little time, to drive her cruiser into the path of a drunk driver.
Trp. Schuck received an alarming call that a driver plowed through the barricades that were placed to control the flow of traffic and provide some degree of safety to the race participants.
As the drunk driver came into Trp. Schuck’s view, she decided to drive toward the vehicle, assuming it would stop.
Trp. Schuck Speaks Out
In an interview with Fox News, Trp. Schuck talked about the harrowing experience just moments after receiving the frantic call for someone to stop the drunk driver. Trp. Schuck recalls her thought process just before the crash, she stated:
“She’s [the drunk driver] gonna see the truck and she’s gonna stop. Any prudent person would see my Tahoe marked unit with lights on and stop. But my job was to protect those people and I was gonna do whatever it takes to stop her.”
“It was a hard hit and I wasn’t expecting it. In my mind, if you saw the video a few seconds later, I was casually driving with one hand because I did not believe the crash was going to happen.”
The driver, however, did not stop but instead crashed right into Trp. Schuck’s SUV.
The crash occurred towards the end of the race where hundreds, if not thousands were mustering near the finish line. A direct impact from a drunk driver into a large crowd of people would certainly have resulted in a catastrophic situation.
It would have turned a joyous, charitable fundraising family activity into an absolute nightmare for everyone involved.
Trp. Schuck told Fox News and stated:
“At that time it was close to the end of the race. At that phase are typically the walkers- the people that bring their families, their children, their grandma’s, grandpa’s, aunts and uncles.”
But it didn’t go that far. With the limited time and information Trp. Schuck had, she chose to put herself in the direct path of the vehicle, shielding the crowd and taking the brunt of the impact.
Trp. Schuck did incur some injuries but thankfully, was able to recover enough to go back to duty. According to a report, Trp. Schuck will still be undergoing physical therapy for the foreseeable future – but her spirits remain sky high.
Much of her positive outlook at the potentially life-threatening situation came from the support from several different people and groups.
Trp. Schuck told Fox News:
“There’s been an outpouring of appreciation for what I did. I’ve had so many runners groups and different types of Law Enforcement Officers who were involved in crashes similar to mine, that is was so over whelming.”
Because of her heroics and steadfast decision making to save countless lives, Trp. Schuck was honored at the Patriot Awards in Florida. The event is hosted by Fox News and meant to recognize the brave actions by people everywhere who’ve shown a great deal of courage and strength.
And Trp. Shuck is rightfully among that elite group. It is officers like her that deserve the recognition. In fact, she took the opportunity to spread another noble message.
She told Fox News that:
“We see a lot of men that do it [law enforcement] but there’s a lot of women out there that do it, too.”
“We have a tough society right now, and I’m hoping the next generation of law enforcement will include a lot of females.”
A truly inspiring message for the next generation of heroes. Let her decisive actions serve as a reminder that there is a hero in every one of you that stands ready to serve the community.
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