How far would you go to save the lives of innocent civilians? For Florida Highway Patrol Master Trooper Toni Schuck, she was more than willing to drive her patrol car directly into a speeding drunk driver who was heading toward a 10K route where thousands of runners were participating.
In dashcam video released by the Florida Highway Patrol, Schuck’s patrol vehicle can be seen turning directly into the path of the drunk driver, who was speeding toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, where countless people were participating in the Skyway 10K to raise money for military families.
The drunk driver, identified as 52-year-old Kristen Kay Watts, recorded a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit for drivers.
“This driver had blown past several checkpoints, going around traffic cones, going around other officers and had engaged in high speeds,” Trooper Ken Watson told Fox 13 Tampa.
With Watts quickly approaching the runners, Schuck rammed her Chevrolet Tahoe nearly head-on into the intoxicated driver’s 2011 BMW 335i. Both women suffered injuries, with Schuck receiving a head wound and concussion.
“Thank you for your bravery and self-sacrifice, Trooper Schuck,” the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said in a Facebook post. “We wish you a speedy recovery.”
Skyway 10K organizers echoed similar praise to Schuck for the heroic actions she took to prevent a tragedy that day.
“On behalf of the Skyway 10K, we are beyond thankful for our law enforcement partners and the trooper who risked her life to keep our race participants safe,” the group said in a Facebook post.
A 26-year veteran on the force, Schuck expressed her immense gratitude to her SUV cruiser for helping save her life.
“You served Florida’s citizens well,” she wrote on Facebook. “I attribute my survival to you, my angels and God above!”
Watts was booked into the Manatee County Jail on a $52,000 bond. She faces several charges, including DUI with serious injury, DUI with property damage and two counts of reckless driving involving injury and property damage. To view the full dashcam video, please visit tinyurl.com/2azjxfhm.