TAMPA, Fla — Florida Highway Patrol said a trooper had his lights on while protecting an active crash scene in Pinellas County on Saturday night when a suspected impaired driver failed to slow or change lanes and hit the patrol car which left the trooper with minor injuries.
Friday in Clearwater, police said while they were investigating a crash on U.S. Highway 19 a driver failed to move over and slammed into the back of the cruiser.
Last week in Dade City, FHP said another suspected impaired driver ignored commands to stop before he drove right through an active crash scene.
And, you may remember the incredible moment FHP Trooper Toni Schuck blocked the path of a suspected impaired driver after the driver broke through barricades for the Skyway 10K race.
The program manager of Mothers Against Drunk Driving for West Central Florida said these recent crashes are concerning.
"If we notice the people around us are impaired in some way and we do everything we can to stop them from driving, then we're all taking action," Sharon Hall said. "It could be us getting hit by the drunk driver. So, we never know. You never know if it's going to be your family member that's going to get hit anytime, any day, any night."
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, preliminary data shows that in 2021 there were 191 crashes and more than 14,000 citations issued for motorists failing to move over in Florida.
“Several recent cases of move over violations in our area have resulted in injuries to first responders including road rangers, tow truck drivers, firefighters, deputies, police and state troopers," FHP Sergeant Steve Gaskins said. "The failure to move over and/or slow down can lead to catastrophic results."
So far this year Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports 860 deadly crashes in the state; 58 in Hillsborough County, 30 in Pinellas County and 23 crashes in Pasco County.