Troopers stress importance of 'move over' law after crash on I-75
FORT MYERS, Fla. (FOX 13) - It was a close call for a Florida Highway Patrol who had pulled over onto the shoulder of I-75 in Lee County as an out-of-control vehicle barreled into his cruiser.
Troopers say the crash underscores the need for vehicles to not only move over when first responders are on the shoulder, but to remain focused behind the wheel.
In this crash in November, Trooper Richard Verbiest had stopped his SUV with emergency lights on to help a disabled motorist on the inside shoulder of southbound I-75 in Lee County.
Moments later, the 35-year-old driver of a Mazda swerved for slowing traffic, lost control, and struck the guardrail and the rear of the trooper's SUV.
The trooper, who had minor injuries, rushed to the driver's aid as the vehicle burst into flames.
The driver, identified as Fernando Xavier Espinoza of Fort Myers, was seriously injured and pulled from the vehicle.
Other drivers were seen also pulling over and coming to the aid of the trooper and the injured driver.
The incident was captured on camera from the trooper's vehicle.
Troopers want to remind everyone that the Florida move over law requires vehicles to vacate the lane closest to an emergency vehicle, and if that's impossible due to traffic, the vehicle is required to reduce its speed by 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.