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Busy holiday travel from FHP trooper's perspective

Posted at 12:01 AM, Nov 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-23 02:55:13-05

Wednesday has been a busy one for our highway patrol troopers responding to crashes, as they experienced the brunt Thanksgiving travel rush first hand. 

WPTV’s Andrew Lofholm rode along with a trooper in Palm Beach County to get a troopers perspective on the roads.

We met Trooper Jose Pajon for the last couple hours of his 12-hour shift. 

“It’s been nonstop since early this morning. At one point we had about 12 collisions early in the morning,” Pajon said. Following too close has been the biggest (cause).” 

Our first call is to a three-vehicle accident on I-95 northbound near the Indian Town Road exit.

“Enforcement has been down to a bare minimum because we’re doing more reacting than we are enforcing,” Pajon said on the way there. 

He helps out a fellow trooper and a road ranger and the scene clears. We’re back on the road. A passenger on a motorcycle was taken to the hospital. 

“Normally, we have between two and three troopers per zone but even that’s still too few as to that amount of calls that we normally get the day prior to Thanksgiving, day prior to Christmas, then day of,” Pajon says. 

Nearby, a second crash reported. 

“It’s been like this the entire day. Not a single break.”

It’s a three-car crash. No one is hurt. A white car’s hood is bent and bumper smashed. The driver of that car ticketed for following too close. 

“We got a regular fender bender. Stop and go traffic,” he tells us, writing up the ticket and report. 

If you’re hitting the roads, do our troopers a favor and keep your distance and put your phones down.