A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is recovering in hospital after he was hit and thrown by a car when he pushed another man out of danger.
Hobe Sound native Rony Bottex says he would “be dead” if it wasn’t for 32-year-old officer Mithil Patel’s actions Monday morning on Interstate 95 near West Palm Beach.
Bottex had already been in one car accident when a local CBS television crew arrived. Video recorded by WPEC shows that Patel was talking with Bottex when a white van rear-ended a dark Audi sedan, sending it spinning towards the two pedestrians.
Patel pushed Bottex to safety before being thrown in the air.
“What he did for me, he doesn’t do it because he’s a state trooper, he doesn’t for his job,” Bottex told CBS. “He was there to protect a person he doesn’t know. I don’t believe anybody would do the same.”
The 65-year-old grandfather now wears a knee brace and leans on crutches, but is expected to recover. Bottex also had a message for his hero.
“I want to be your family because you’re a good person,” he said. “It’s not what you do, it’s that’s the way you are.”
— with files from The Associated Press
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