VIDEO: Car slams into FHP trooper's vehicle on I-75 in Southwest Florida

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 23:48:14-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Florida Highway Patrol on Wednesday released dramatic video of a violent crash that occurred late last year when a driver slammed into the back of a trooper’s vehicle.

FHP said the wreck happened on Nov. 5 along I-75 southbound in Lee County. The rear camera of the trooper's vehicle captured the moment it all happened.

Trooper Richard Verbiest was stopped on the side of the road with his emergency lights on behind a disabled driver.

A short time later, a 2012 Mazda, driven by Fernando Espinoza, 35, of Fort Myers was headed southbound on I-75.

FHP said to avoid slowing traffic, Espinoza swerved his vehicle onto the shoulder, struck a guardrail and careened into the back of the trooper’s vehicle.

Espinoza sustained a serious injury and Verbiest suffered an injury described as "non-incapacitating."

The violent wreck caused a large fire.

Despite the violent wreck and being injured, video shows Verbiest going to Espinoza’s vehicle and pulling him out of his car to safety.

The FHP released the video Wednesday as a reminder of the importance of moving over for first-responders that are stopped on the road.

Dash cam video captures vehicle crash into FHP trooper! 1st responders perform a critical service on the side of the road, plz move over so they can safely do their job! It’s the law, it’s common courtesy & most importantly, it’s a life saver!

— FHP SWFL (@FHPSWFL) January 9, 2019