FORT MEYERS, Fla. — The moment a driver slammed into the back of a trooper's vehicle on I-75 was caught in terrifying dash cam footage.
Florida Highway Patrol says the driver, 35-year-old Fernando Espinoza, swerved to avoid slowing traffic before hitting the guardrail and slamming into the trooper. He was seriously injured and his vehicle caught fire.
The trooper was pulled over to the shoulder of the road with his emergency lights on to assist a disabled motorist, FHP says.
After exiting his damaged cruiser, Trooper Richard Verbiest, who was injured himself, pulled Espinoza out of the vehicle.
"The trooper’s quick actions in response to an emergency of which he was involved in is a testament to the Florida Highway Patrol motto of Courtesy, Service and Protection," FHP says. "This crash also serves as a reminder for drivers to remain focused behind the wheel and to follow the Florida move over law which states, when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle on a multiple lane highway, that vehicle must vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle. If traffic congestion prevents a safe lane change, the vehicle is required to reduce speed by 20 mph below the posted speed limit."
The accident took place on November 5, 2018 in Fort Myers on southbound I-75.