HOBE SOUND, Fla. (WFLA) - The quick actions of a selfless Florida Highway Patrol trooper likely saved a man's life this week.
On Monday morning, 65-year-old Rony Bottex was involved in a car crash in Hobe Sound. He was standing on the side of the road after the crash when an out-of-control car veered toward him.
Video from WPEC shows a nearby FHP trooper jump into action and push Bottex out of the way, saving his life. The trooper was then hit by the car and tossed into the air.
"You see, if it wasn't for him, I would be gone," Bottex said.
The 31-year-old trooper, later identified as Mithil Patel, was already at the scene responding to the prior crash. The right lane was blocked off due to that crash but authorities say a van rear-ended a car and caused the driver to lose control.
"I heard the car boom and the car spins," Bottex recalled. "And then he just pushed me away. And then he stood in front of the car."
First responders were already at the scene and rushed over to help. According to WPEC, the trooper suffered serious injuries. He is now talking and should be able to walk again soon, his wife says.
Bottex is on crutches and has a brace for his knee. He says he knows his injuries could have been critical if Trooper Patel hadn't pushed him out of the way.
"What he did for me, he doesn't do it because he's a state trooper. He doesn't for his job. He was there to protect a person he doesn't know. And I don't believe anybody would do the same," Bottex said.
The grandfather had this message for Trooper Patel.
"I want to be your family because you're a good person, with all my respect. It's not what you do, it's that's the way you are."
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