FHP trooper speaks after being struck by car on I-95

Trooper Mithil Patel pushed man out of way before car knocked him off his feet

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida Highway Patrol who was struck by a car on Interstate 95 after pushing a man out of the way said he is grateful to everyone who helped him and wished him well.

FHP Trooper Mithil Patel was released from St. Mary's Medical Center a day after Monday's crash in Hobe Sound.

Patel reunited with the man whose life he is credited with saving during a Friday morning news conference at the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association.

"Thank you very, very, very much, and God bless you," Rony Bottex told Patel.

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Mithil Patel shares a moment with Rony Bottex, the man whose life he is credited with saving.

Video recorded by WPEC, the CBS affiliate for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, shows Patel speaking with Bottex, 65, 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.

Patel was on the side of the highway -- near Bridge Road in Hobe Sound -- helping Bottex, who was involved in an earlier crash.

Bottex's daughter was also there to thank Patel.

"If it wasn't for you being there that day, my father wouldn't be here," she said.

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 thanked the first responders, doctors, medical staff, his fellow troopers and everyone who sent him well wishes while he was in the hospital. He then asked the FHP chaplain to lead him in a prayer.

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