Dashcam shows Florida trooper hit, stop car headed for Skyway Bridge full of 10K runners


A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is home and recovering on Monday after she used her vehicle to block a rogue driver that was speeding towards a pedestrian event taking place on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the agency said in a news release.

The driver, 52-year-old Kristen Kay Watts of Sarasota, bypassed an Interstate 275 closure and failed to stop for multiple law enforcement officers before the crash took place just after 8:45 a.m. Sunday.

Watts was later arrested on charges of DUI, two counts of DUI with property damage and two counts of reckless driving involving injury and property damage.

“The Florida Highway Patrol applauds the actions of Trooper Toni Schuck, a 26 year veteran of the patrol who, as the last line of defense to the Skyway 10K runners, placed herself in harm’s way to protect others,” the agency said in a news release Monday.

Dashcam footage released by the agency on Monday shows the moment when Watts’ BMW sped past one FHP cruiser attempting to block her passage on northbound I-275. Her sedan then crashed nearly head-on into Schuck’s patrol SUV.

Both Schuck and Watts were seriously injured in the crash, FHP said.

This year’s Skyway 10K had 8,000 racers participating, organizers of the charity event said on Facebook. On Monday, organizers also shared a public thank you to Schuck.

“On behalf of the Skyway 10K, we are beyond thankful for our law enforcement partners and the trooper who risked her life to keep our race participants safe,” the post says.

Watts was listed as in custody at the Manatee County Jail on Monday afternoon. She was held in lieu of $52,000 bail.

Schuck “continues to recover from her injuries with her family at home,” FHP said, and anyone wanting to send her well wishes can send mail to Florida Highway Patrol, 11305 North McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 or contact the agency on social media.

A Sarasota woman has been arrested for DUI after Florida Highway Patrol says she went through an interstate closure for a pedestrian event and crashed into an FHP vehicle on March 6, 2022.

A Sarasota woman has been arrested for DUI after Florida Highway Patrol says she went through an interstate closure for a pedestrian event and crashed into an FHP vehicle on March 6, 2022.

A Sarasota woman has been arrested for DUI after Florida Highway Patrol says she went through an interstate closure for a pedestrian event and crashed into an FHP vehicle on March 6, 2022.

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