LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy was injured in a car crash early Thursday after he stopped to help another driver.
The crash happened on I-95 southbound at 6th Avenue in Palm Beach County.
According to BSO, Dep. Joe Bialczak, 50, was on his way to work when he stopped to help a driver who had crashed against the median. While out of his marked cruiser, Bialczak was hit by another vehicle.
"My car -- I hit the brakes and it just slid," said Luis Perilla, 27, the driver of the silver Mazda that hit the deputy.
Perilla said he didn't see Bialczak until he was right in front of him. The Florida Highway Patrol said Bialczak had activated his emergency lights before exiting his car. Perilla's car hit both Bialczak and the other vehicle that had crashed into the median.
"I just saw him running toward the car but my car slid towards the car behind me and it just clipped the officer and the car at the same time," said Perilla. "I was in shock. I got out of the car to make sure he was alright though."
Bialczak, a 22 year veteran, was airlifted to Delray Medical Center. He was listed in serious but stable condition after suffering several broken bones, bruises, and a broken vertebrae with no paralysis.
"I'm praying a lot for him to get up and walk again," said Perilla.
Michael Conroy, another BSO deputy, had also stopped to help Bialczak but was able to get out of the way of the car.
On Tuesday, a funeral was held for a BSO motorman who was died from injuries he suffered in a motorcycle crash.
Charges against Perilla are pending.
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