A Hero Among Us: Officer Puts Herself in Danger to Save Runners From a Drunk Driver

Florida Highway Patrol Master Trooper Toni Schuck used her patrol SUV to stop a suspected drunk driver who allegedly drove through a series of roadblocks. (Florida Highway Patrol)

By Nancy Flory Published on March 10, 2022

We talk a lot about villains and not enough about heroes. Here’s a true hero. Meet Florida Highway Patrol officer Toni Schuck.

Florida Highway Patrol officer, Master Trooper Toni Schuck, 47, could be dead. She selflessly put her patrol car between a drunk driver and thousands of 10K runners during a race Sunday in the Tampa Bay area, Fox News reported. The drunk driver had already skirted checkpoints, officers and traffic cones and was barreling toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, where runners were raising money for military families.

At the last minute, Trooper Schuck maneuvered her car directly in front of the drunk driver, and took the hit, saving the lives of runners on the bridge. The head-on crash between the drunk driver and Trooper Schuck was caught on the officer’s dashcam.

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The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Florida Highway Patrol posted on Twitter earlier this week. “Hero Alert,” they wrote. “Yesterday, a drunk driver was heading toward the Skyway 10K route and FHP Trooper Toni Schuck selflessly placed her vehicle directly in the path of the drunk driver — preventing a tragedy. Thank you for your service, Trooper Schuck. We wish you a speedy recovery.”

Watch:

Trooper Schuck suffered a head injury and concussion. The drunk driver also sustained non-life-threatening injuries. As of Tuesday, Trooper Schuck was recovering at home with her family. The drunk driver was booked into the Manatee County Jail on a $52,000 bond. According to Fox News, “She faces charges of DUI-serious injury, two counts of DUI-property damage and two counts of reckless driving involving injury and property damage.”

Trooper Schuck gave a statement today, which was tweeted out by FOX 13 News. She said it was hard for her because in 26 years in her profession she’d never been in a position where she had to put someone else [like the runners] before herself. “Everyday since it’s happened, I’ve thought about it. You know, you go through the ‘what ifs.’ But I was the last officer. I knew that. I knew it was me. So, if it wasn’t me to get her to stop, then who? I don’t know.”

She also told FOX 13 that a guardian angel was there with her. “If you call her a hero, she responds by saying service runs through her blood and heart,” FOX 13 tweeted.

Watch:

Thank you for your service Trooper Schuck, and Godspeed your recovery.

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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