You’re driving on the freeway. You see cones and lights ahead — accident or construction?
As you pass, you slow down a bit to get a better view. Rubber-neckers, lookie-loos: We have lots of terms for the folks who slow down traffic because they want to catch a good glimpse of what’s going on, and not all the terms are polite.
It’s natural for humans to be curious, especially about accidents and other potentially horrible events, but they tend to cause more tragedy through their own actions.
Both Rony Bottex and Mithil Patel got front-row seats to a demonstration of just what can go wrong in these kinds of situations.
The 31-year-old Florida State Trooper, Patel, was on the I-95 investigating a crash and speaking to Rony Bottex, one of the drivers involved in the crash. As they stood talking, a car on the freeway rear-ended another car, sending a black sedan spiraling toward the two men.
Patel, who realized what was happening, made an effort to push Bottex out of the way before he himself was side-swiped by the car, sending him flying.
“I remember talking to him, and the next memory for me is that I’m in the hospital,” said Patel, according to TCPalm. “Something just took over me and helped him and God helped me.”
While he was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in critical condition, he managed to avoid breaking any bones and was able to go home a few days later. “God saved me from any broken bones, fractures or anything like that,” he said, “so I’m happy.”
He’s not the only one elated with the outcome. Bottex and his family are understandably grateful.
“Thank you very, very much, and we are not friends, we are family,” said Bottex, according to CBS12.
“If it wasn’t for you being there that day, my father wouldn’t be here,” Bottex’s daughter Marilyn said during a press conference.
Patel’s wife is just thrilled that her husband’s actions were so beneficial. “I’m just happy that he was able to save somebody’s life,” she said.
As for the policeman, he’s clearly retained his funnybone despite the accident, and joked about his gymnastic failure and poor form during the same press conference later in the week.
“As well as the tow truck driver who ran up and was the first one to see me do an Olympic-style roll,” he said. “I didn’t land perfect unfortunately. I didn’t get a 10. I got a zero on that one. Guess I have to practice at home.”
“Just one thing,” he added, “send me another copy of all of it so I can frame it.” What a trooper!
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