Corporal honored as Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet recently passed a resolution recognizing Indian American Corporal Mithil Patel as the 2019 Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year, according to a report by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The award recognizes a member of the Florida Highway Patrol for their courage, service, and protection, to ensure the safety and welfare of Floridians and visitors. “I am proud to serve with dedicated troopers like Corporal Mithil Patel, who selflessly and courageously put himself in harm’s way to save an innocent bystander,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol, according to the report. “His actions demonstrate the dedication and professionalism of our FHP troopers, who put their lives on the line every day to protect the residents and visitors of our great state.” Last year, Corporal Patel was conducting a crash investigation on I-95 and began interviewing an individual when another vehicle spun out of control and came barreling towards them, the report said, adding: “Without hesitation, Patel pushed the civilian out of the way of the incoming vehicle. Due to Corporal Patel’s quick response, the vehicle missed the civilian, but unfortunately hit Patel, propelling him into the air. Corporal Patel spent nine months recovering from his injuries before returning to full duty.
Michigan State Police trooper donates part of liver to former training officer
Two Michigan State Police Troopers are healthy and back on the road after one volunteered to be a living donor for the other earlier this year, donating half his liver. Trooper David Burr, 28, of Grand Rapids, donated part of his liver to Trooper Christopher Boven, 37, of North Muskegon, the officer who trained him while both were based at the MSP Post in Rockford. “It’s kind of the mentality that all of us have, if someone’s in need, we’re going to step up to the plate,” Burr said. The transplant took place in adjacent operating rooms Feb. 25, 2019 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, with support through Henry Ford Transplant Institute’s Liver Transplant Clinic at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. Transplants can be done with deceased or living donors. “The beauty of a living donor is it’s 100 percent and we could do it before Chris got really ill,” said Dilip Moonka, Medical Director of the Henry Ford Liver Transplant Program. At age 13, Boven was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare liver disease. It’s a chronic, progressive condition in which inflammation causes scars within the bile ducts, gradually leading to serious liver damage. He gave up contact sports and lived symptom-free until 2017 when a thorn bush scratch turned into a series of skin infections that sent his immune system and PSC into overdrive. Doctors told him in spring 2018 that a liver transplant was inevitable. Burr’s gift of life came after dozens of Michigan State Police officers and others volunteered for the screening to donate. Boven said he sent an initial email out to inform his co-workers about his medical condition. “I got a call probably three weeks later from Henry Ford and they basically said, ‘Look, I don’t know what you’re doing, but you need to stop because we’ve got too many people that are signing up,’” Boven said. A couple troopers, and Boven’s brother, attempted to donate but weren’t a good enough match. It wasn’t until Burr was tested and found to be a match for his former field training officer (FTO). “Chris was my first FTO right out of the academy,” Burr said. “We both have similar personalities, so it made it easier to learn. We got along right off the bat.” Both livers regrew to normal size within three months, medical officials said. They both are back at work and healthy.oth livers regrew to normal size within three months, medical officials said. They both are back at work and healthy.
23-year-old woman reunites with Indiana State Police trooper who saved her life
An Indiana State trooper saved a 23-year-old woman trapped inside a car sinking feet below the surface of a pond. Wednesday, they saw each other again for the first time since the day of the accident. “One minute I’m on the road, next minute I’m in water," said Megan Fleetwood. Fleetwood said the crash happened fast on her way home from work on State Route 11. “My contact started bothering me, so I rubbed my eye -- just a completely fluke thing -- and my contact ended up falling out, and so my eyes couldn’t focus," said Fleetwood. Her car went into the pond, and, within minutes, water was up to her neck. “I still can’t swim, and I mean, just going through my head was, 'Well, this is going to be bad.' I can’t get out; the power windows had already stopped working. It was just panic," said Fleetwood. By the time Sgt. Stephen Wheeles got to her car, all he could see was the piece of glass on the back window. “I could obviously see her through the back window, and obviously very frantic that she needed out of there quickly," said Wheeles. He dove into the water with a hammer that a witness gave him. “I was very surprised that one hit the whole thing disappeared. I went to grab for her and she was already halfway out. She was coming out on her own," said Wheeles. Wheeles doesn't consider himself a hero. The rescue is his duty, but he said it's the others involved who made the difference. “She was in the water a lot longer than I was, so I mean, the mental strength that it took her to survive that and keep her head about her in that cold water -- that says a lot about her," said Wheeles. In that freezing water, Fleetwood said she recognized Wheeles from church. Out of a really scary moment, the two share an even stronger bond. “My mom actually passed away last year, and so it was kind of just like -- I don’t know. We believe in guardian angels. I don’t know how other people feel, but it was definitely like someone was watching over," said Fleetwood. Fleetwood suffered a concussion and Wheeles hurt his hand punching through the windshield -- relatively minor injuries compared to what could have happened.
Fallen Illinois State Police trooper honored in highway dedication ceremony
Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert died protecting a group of fellow citizens on a suburban expressway. That stretch of I-294 near Willow Road in Northbrook is now named in Lambert's honor, after a solemn dedication ceremony Thursday attended by his widow, Halley, two young daughters and dozens of law enforcement peers. But his former colleagues hope the sign above the roadway reading "Trooper Christopher Lambert Memorial Highway" serves as more than a reminder of the trooper's sacrifice. "We hope that as (drivers) see the signs honoring troopers who've lost their lives in the line of duty, it's a daily reminder to drive responsibly," state police Sgt. Jacqueline Cepeda said after Thursday's dedication ceremony at the Rosemont Theatre. State police say Lambert, 34, lost his life because another driver didn't heed that message. The five-year state police veteran was on his way home to Highland Park after wrapping up a day patrolling the tollway system on a snowy Jan. 12 when he spotted a three-car pileup on northbound I-294. A Dayton, Ohio-native who served in the U.S. Army before joining the state police in 2015, Lambert pulled over to help and keep those involved in the collisions safe. He was standing outside his patrol vehicle when an SUV that failed to slow down or move over struck him. He succumbed to his injuries later that evening. "Chris left this world the way he lived, putting the well-being of others above his own," the Rev. Harold Stanger said during Thursday's service. State police Director Brendan Kelly said Lambert won praise during his time with the agency for his leadership and dedication to serving others, traits that extended beyond his law enforcement work. "Chris lived a purposeful life, a life of service," Kelly said. "But his most important role was as a loving son, husband and father."
Illinois State Police troopers help deliver heart for transplant
Time was of the essence for two Illinois state troopers. It was a little after 4 a.m. CST Tuesday on Interstate 55 when a vehicle carrying a fresh human heart got a flat tire. Along with the organ going to the University of Chicago Medical Center's Hyde Park campus from the airport: a surgeon, transplant coordinator and medical student. "There is about a 4- to 6-hour window of time for a heart to remain viable for surgery, and the team had already been traveling for approximately three hours," said hospital spokeswoman Ashley Heher. That's when the troopers showed up, responding to a call for a disabled vehicle, according to an Illinois State Police press release. "The Troopers immediately realized this was a time-sensitive situation and without hesitation they transported the three people and the donor organ to the academic medical center," the release said. The delivery was made in time, and the doctors were able to provide the patient with a new heart. "Our District Chicago Troopers were able to turn a potentially bad situation into a thankful ending for at least one family this Thanksgiving holiday," said Interim Capt. Angelo Mollo. "I am extremely proud of our officers who acted without hesitation in this life saving transport."
Utah Highway Patrol trooper has a near-death experience for the second time in six months
A Utah state highway trooper narrowly avoided death last week, for the second time in six months. Trooper Riley Rugg was helping a driver Monday evening when an oncoming vehicle smashed into his patrol car, sending the police vehicle toward him. Rugg just avoided the crash -- jumping behind a highway barrier to protect himself. His car wasn't as lucky, with the bumper hanging off and the back windshield obliterated. Rugg experienced a similar incident on July 4, he told CNN affiliate KTVX. While he attended to a highway accident, a speeding Ford F-350 rolled over the top of his squad car, he told KTVX. Rugg had just walked away and escaped the incident without a scratch. "Just a mile an hour or two difference in speed could have made the situation a lot different, better or worse, so I'm just grateful how it happened that we weren't injured," he said. Still, Rugg told KTVX he saw "a little bit, maybe, of my life flashing before my eyes" after the run-in this week.
Sheriff Deputy becomes an Alabama State trooper in memory of daughter
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency welcomed its largest class of new state troopers in the past 20 years last week. Jere Jensen has worked in law enforcement for years both as a sheriff's deputy and as a part of the National Guard, but the events of one night made him change career paths. "Working for the sheriff's department, you never knew what was going to happen,” said Jensen. “We had so many responsibilities. We would answer calls for assistance. I was the guy that would get the wild animal calls." Jere Jensen had plenty of bizarre stories from his time as a Geneva County Sheriff's Deputy. He also had a number of scary experiences during his 26 years of military service, but the scariest night of his life was just a few months ago. "February of this year I lost my daughter,” said Jensen. “She was killed in a traffic crash on I-65. That experience changed my focus." Jensen's daughter Lindsey was just 22-years-old and left behind a young daughter. He was so impressed by how the state troopers handled the situation; he joined the ranks and dedicated his career to her memory. "I realized that if I got the chance to do this, I could directly impact safety and prevent, directly, the loss of lives of innocent young people like my daughter," said Jensen. After hearing about Jere's inspiration, the other 54 members of his graduating class dedicated their careers to Lindsey as well. "I think she would completely understand why this is my calling now, and I think she would be proud and honored that I have become an Alabama State Trooper,” said Jensen. Jere just started his trooper career on Saturday. He will be in field training for a few weeks, then will be on his own patrolling the western parts of the Wiregrass.
To watch video, go to: https://www.wtvy.com/wrgx/content/news/Geneva-sheriffs-deputy-becomes-state-trooper-in-memory-of-daughter-565507022.html?jwsource=cl
Indiana State Police trooper saves woman trapped in water submerged car
An Indiana State Police trooper used a hammer to bust out a window, saving a woman that was trapped in a submerged vehicle. On Friday afternoon, ISP Sergeant Stephen Wheeles was sent to a crash where a woman was trapped inside of a vehicle that was in water. He arrived near State Road 11 and County Road 800 East in Jackson County to find the sinking car. The driver, 23-year-old Megan Fleetwood of Jeffersonville, was trapped. Wheeles was handed a hammer from another person on the scene. He used it to bash out the back window and pull Fleetwood to safety. She was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour. Wheeles went to the hospital with hand and arm injuries.
Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper sustains serious injuries after being struck by car while investigating crash
A trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol was hospitalized early Thursday morning after he was struck by vehicle while investigating a crash on U.S. 42 in Madison County, located outside of Columbus, according to a post from the OSHP. At approximately around 6:10 a.m., Trooper Jason R. Hofmann was struck while investigating a two-vehicle minor injury crash on U.S. 42 near Interstate 70. Hofmann was outside his patrol car wearing a reflective vest while taking measurements on the right side of the berm when a tan Chevrolet Astro van traveling south on U.S. 42 drifted off the right side of the road and struck Hofmann. Hofmann sustained serious injuries and was transported via med flight to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The driver of the van, identified as a 64-year-old woman from Plain City, was not injured. The state law requires drivers to move over to an adjacent lane when approaching any vehicle with flashing or rotating lights parked on the roadside. It says drivers should slow down if moving over isn’t possible due to traffic, weather conditions or the lack of a second lane.
Illinois State Police trooper throws woman to safety seconds before sliding truck crashes
An Illinois couple who survived an incredibly close call on an icy interstate last week hopes their story and dramatic dashcam video will cause drivers to be more careful. The video from the Illinois State Police shows a box truck barreling toward the couple as two Illinois State Troopers are assisting them. Peggy and Wilbur “Bud” Vaught live in Fairfield, Illinois. They were on the side of I-64 when they discovered they had a flat tire. Peggy Vaught was standing next to a trooper who was helping them when the truck started sliding. She said, “It was over with before I knew what was going on.” The video shows a trooper grabbing her and throwing her into a ditch to protect her from the sliding truck. She estimates the truck was approximately 6 inches above her head as it passed over her. Her husband was still in their car and managed to walk away from the crash even though it totaled their vehicle. Peggy has a broken wrist. “I’m still covered with bruises and everything but if I come out of this with only a broken wrist, that’s good,” she said. The driver of the truck was cited for driving too fast for conditions and failure to reduce speed. The Vaught's hope their story will help other drivers see just how important it is to slow down and move over when possible in situations where first responders or flashing lights are on an interstate shoulder. The Illinois State Police reminds drivers that is the law Illinois. “Slow down,” said Peggy Vaught. “No one’s paying attention anymore.”
To watch video, go to: https://whnt.com/2019/11/19/trooper-throws-woman-to-safety-seconds-before-sliding-truck-crashes/
Maryland State Police trooper pulls man from burning car
A Maryland State Trooper rescued a passenger from a burning vehicle after it was involved in a collision early Sunday morning, state police said. Troopers from the Frederick Barrack were called to the area of eastbound Interstate 70 at Braddock Mountain for a report of a single-vehicle collision. When they arrived, they saw the vehicle had overturned and was on fire. Corporal Wagoner of the MSP also saw a man in the passenger side of the vehicle later identified as Jessie McMullen, 21, of Myersville. McMullen was also on fire, state police said. Cpl. Wagoner used his fire extinguisher and extinguished the flames on McMullen, then removed him from the vehicle. McMullen suffered third-degree burns and was taken by helicopter to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, where he is listed in stable condition. The trooper was not injured.
Off-Duty Indiana State Police trooper helps save boy after he falls through ice on pond
An off-duty Indiana State Police trooper helped save a boy Friday evening after he fell through the ice on a retention pond near Winona Lake. Around 6 p.m., Trooper Jacob Bill saw a Winona Lake Police Department officer responding to an incident with his lights and sirens on, so Bill decided to follow and see if he could help, according to a press release from ISP. When they arrived near County Road 325 East and Wooster Road, bystanders were yelling and pointing to an 11-year-old boy in the water. Bill ran into the water and swam out to the boy, grabbed him by the collar, and tried to get him back to shore, according to the release. WLPD Officer Dave Swain entered the water to help them when they got caught up in the broken ice. WLPD Sgt. Joe Bumbaugh arrived and helped all three people get out of the water, according to the release. The boy was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released, according to the release. “I was just glad that I was in the right place at the right time," Bill said.
Daniel Solow named as Colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol
Nevada Department of Public Safety Director George Togliatti announced the appointment of Daniel Solow as Colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol effective Monday, Nov. 8, 2019. Colonel Solow was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in December 2017 and has been with the Department since 1995, beginning his career with the Nevada DPS as a Trooper serving the Laughlin/Searchlight district. The previous NHP Colonel, John O'Rourke, retired in August 2019. Solow has promoted through the Nevada DPS ranks during his career and has held various assignments in both rural and urban Traffic Operations, Administrative Support Services, and Commercial Enforcement. “Colonel Solow brings great experience and knowledge to the position with his years of service in multiple locations and capacities with the Department,” said Nevada DPS Director George Togliatti. Solow, a Veteran of the US Coast Guard, is a graduate of UNLV, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science. He is also a graduate of the Northwestern College for Police Staff and Command and Rapport Leadership Breakthrough and has been awarded Nevada POST's (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certificates through Executive. Colonel Solow is an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. “It is an honor and humbling to serve as Colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol,” said Colonel Daniel Solow. “I look forward to continuing the drive towards zero crashes on Nevada highways, making them the safest in the country, working together with the dedicated Troopers of the Patrol.”
Christopher Mason named the new superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police
Gov. Charlie Baker tapped Lt. Col. Christopher Mason November 13 to replace retiring Col. Kerry Gilpin as the next superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. “At a pivotal time for Massachusetts State Police, Chris Mason has the experience and vision to lead the Department forward with reforms and innovation that will shape its future,” Baker said. “Our administration is grateful for the changes put in motion under Colonel Kerry Gilpin, and supports Colonel Mason as he completes critical reforms to finish Troop E internal affairs investigations and fully implement AVL technology and the body camera procurement. Drawing on his years of experience, we are confident Colonel Mason will lay out a vision for the Department’s future that will bring meaningful reform and restored public trust to the Commonwealth,” Baker added. Mason, who will take the reins on Friday, Nov. 15, indicated a commitment to restoring public faith in the department during a press conference at the State House Wednesday. He laid out a plan to improve accountability and conduct through ethics training, which will focus on the overtime abuse scandal within the now disbanded Troop E, and increasing diversity within the agency. “I am grateful for the remarkable trust that Governor Baker and his Administration have placed in me,” Mason said. “I promise to earn that trust every day with the men and women of the Massachusetts State Police who reflect our values of honesty, integrity, and service. These values are foremost in my mind as we move the Department and our public safety mission forward.”
Michigan State Police host their annual "Stuff The Turkey"
Michigan State Troopers collected food on Saturday, to put together Thanksgiving meals for those in need. Troopers were at Wal-Mart in Plainwell and Hastings, Mich. collecting non-perishable food items for those who may not be able to afford a meal this holiday season. According to Feed America, around 10,000 people in Allegan County and over 30,000 in Kalamazoo County don't have consistent access to food. Local food banks said the need becomes even greater around the holidays and they will see four to five more families a day needing food assistance this time of the year. "November happens to be one of our busier months of the year," said Kim Shafer with Christian Neighbors Food Pantry. "Since November first we've already served over 100 families, so the need is obviously greater during the holiday season which means our shelves need more attention than ever”. Michigan State Trooper Steve Wood said MSP has been hosting a food drive for years and it's there way to help out the community. "Especially around the holidays when it's supposed to be the best time of the year and when you don't have food on your table, you don't have those basic needs, it's really hard to find joy in this time," Wood said. Shafer said they need donations for almost everything this time of the year, especially things like peanut butter and jelly, boxed pasta and personal hygiene items.