Officer Risks Her Life to Save Runners

Officer Risks Her Life to Save Runners

( – Law enforcement officers take the oath to protect and serve when they sign up for the job. Yet, sometimes, there’s an exceptional officer who takes this vow to new levels. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper exemplified service and protection recently when she literally put her life on the line to save many others.

On Sunday, March 6, thousands of runners gathered on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to participate in a 10K marathon in a fundraising effort for military families. Authorities closed the area to traffic for the runners’ and volunteers’ safety, but one drunk driver reportedly failed to heed the warnings. Instead of finding an alternate route, Kristen Kay Watts, 52, allegedly decided to drive around the barriers, including traffic cones and even police vehicles.

As she barreled towards the runners at high speeds, Master Trooper Toni Schuck immediately put her police cruiser in the way, blocking the driver, who then hit the police vehicle head-on. The dashcam caught the shocking event on video.

The video shows the moment of impact and might be upsetting to some viewers:

Schuck succeeded in stopping Watts, but both ended up in the hospital with injuries. As of Tuesday, March 8, Schuck was home, recuperating from a head injury and concussion, while the police force and those involved with the 10K hailed her as a hero.

Police charged Watts, whose blood alcohol level was reportedly three times Florida’s 0.08 limit, with two counts each of DUI-property damage and reckless driving involving injury and property damage and a single count of DUI-serious injury. She appeared in court on Monday and is currently in jail on a $52,000 bond.

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