FHP trooper released from hospital after being struck by car on I-95

Trooper Mithil Patel pushed man out of way before taking hit

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

HOBE SOUND, Fla. - Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Mithil Patel was released from the hospital Tuesday night, a day after he was struck by a car on Interstate 95 in Hobe Sound, authorities said.

Lt. Alvaro Feola said Patel was standing near the northbound lanes early Monday when he was struck by a car.

Video recorded by WPEC, the CBS affiliate for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, captured the entire incident. It shows Patel speaking with another man, Rony Bottex, of Port St. Lucie, on the side of I-95 when a black Audi spun out of control and started barreling toward them.

Patel can be seen in the video pushing Bottex, whose back was facing I-95, out of the way before he was struck. The impact sent him flying into the air and landing on the ground.

"All I hear (is), 'Boom!' I just saw the spinning and he pushed me out of the way," Bottex said. "He pushed me out the way. If it wasn't for that, I'd be a dead man."

Patel was on the side of the highway -- near Bridge Road in Hobe Sound -- helping Bottex, who was the victim of an earlier accident with his truck.

Troopers believe a van going north rear-ended the dark-colored Audi, causing it to spin right into Patel.

Several workers who were cleaning the debris from the previous crash rushed to help Patel.

Patel was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Bottex is also now home on crutches from his fall. He said he's grateful and feels forever connected to Patel for saving his life.

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