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Driver hits two Martin County Sheriff's Office patrol cars on I-95, deputies not hurt

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Posted at 5:16 AM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 18:41:28-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Martin County Sheriff's Office said a driver slammed into two of the agency's patrol cars on Interstate 95 northbound near the Martin-Palm Beach County line early Friday morning.

The wreck happened about three miles north of the Indiantown Road exit around 4:04 a.m. while deputies were on the shoulder of the highway investigating a separate crash.

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According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by 22-year-old Michael Lorenzo Milito of Lake Worth, was traveling northbound on I-95 approaching mile marker 89.

A Martin County Sheriff's Office cruiser was parked and unoccupied on the eastern shoulder of I-95.

FHP said Milito lost control of his vehicle, which caused the Trailblazer to travel across the paved shoulder. The SUV spun out, collided with the rear of the MCSO patrol car, then flipped over.

The sheriff's office said the patrol car was hit so hard it smashed into a second deputy's vehicle, who was also working the initial crash.

"If you take a look at the damage to our patrol vehicle, you have to come away with the belief that had my deputy been in there, he would've died in that crash. I don't think it was survivable," said Sheriff William Snyder.

Milito was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center with serious injuries. The deputies were not hurt, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Snyder said this crash is a sobering reminder for drivers to obey Florida's Move Over Law.

"If you see a service vehicle, if their lights are flashing, the law requires you get over a lane," said Sheriff Snyder. "If you can't get over, you have to slow down. In this case, it didn't happen."

By 6:39 a.m., all lanes were back open after earlier closures.

The FHP report says alcohol was not related, but charges are pending in the case.