A 22-year-old Florida Highway Patrol trooper placed himself into harms way by intentionally crashing his cruiser into a car that had been driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of I-4 for 15 minutes, FHP said.
Florida Highway Patrol received information that a 2022 Toyota Corolla was seen driving the wrong way on the westbound entrance ramp to I-4 from County Road 423.
FHP, Orlando Police Department, and Orange County Sheriff’s Office all quickly responded to prevent the driver of the wrong-way vehicle from causing a wrong-way crash at a busy intersection or on I-4.
An FHP trooper attempted to stop the wrong-way driver’s path with lights and sirens on, but was hit in the process.
Another Trooper positioned his cruiser in the direct path of the Corolla to prevent it from exiting the wrong way via an I-4 onramp and head on into traffic on John Young Parkway. The Corolla crashed into the FHP cruiser then striking a palm tree on the shoulder of the entrance ramp. The Trooper and the driver of the Toyota Corolla driver were both transported to area hospitals with minor injuries.
Trooper Vehicle”FHP’s response to the report of wrong way driving and the actions of the trooper involved, without a doubt, saved lives,” said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II. “Everyone on the road is responsible for their actions and their impact on others around them; whether intentional or not, a driver’s situational awareness will likely make the difference if someone is injured or killed on our roadways.”
According to FHP, wrong-way fatal crashes are already at 29 as of May 24, 2023, while the total for 2022 was 45. These numbers demonstrate a steady increase in wrong-way crashes resulting in a fatality or serious bodily injury.