A Florida State Trooper risked her life on Sunday morning so that thousands of people running in the Armed Forces Skyway 10k Race wouldn’t lose theirs.
On Sunday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol was alerted to a BMW driving at an “excessive rate of speed” on I-275, traveling toward the road closure on the south end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida. The driver sped past several barricades and traffic cones, rerouting traffic for the race, and even bypassed state officers who attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
In a last line of defense, Trooper Toni Schuck, a 26-year veteran of the FHP, maneuvered her car to block the speeding motorist, placing herself directly in the path of the oncoming driver. Seconds later, the driver, later identified as Kristin Kay Watts of Sarasota, Florida, crashed nearly head-on with Trooper Schuck’s patrol car, a 2019 Chevy Tahoe.
Both women were injured after the collision and taken to a local hospital. Trooper Schuck was released and is recovering at home.
The quick thinking and brave actions of Trooper Shuck prevented a potential mass casualty situation.
Kristin Watts’ charges are DUI, two counts of reckless driving, damage to person and property, and two counts of DUI damage to property or person.