Trooper hailed as hero after stopping driver from hitting runners (includes video story)

A Florida state trooper says her vehicle was the last obstacle when an allegedly drunk driver broke through barricades of the Skyway 10k race on Sunday.

“Where I was positioned is probably about a half a mile from the starting point,” shared trooper Toni Schuck. “And so in my mind, I’m thinking, she’s going to stop.”

Dash-cam video shows Schuck positioning her car in the middle of the road and blocking the path. The trooper expected the driver to stop, but they did not; it all ended in a head-on collision. 

“It’s hard because I’ve done this for 26 years and I’ve never been in this position,” shared Schuck. “I’ve never been in this position where I’ve had to put myself [in harm’s way] for somebody else.”

The video shows the mangled cars after the wreck. Schuck has thought about the collision every day since. 

“It really overwhelmed me,” shared Schuck. “It was just a situation where I knew there were people there and I’m just thankful it was me.”

It was later determined that the driver, Kristen Watts, 52. She was arrested.

Schuck has been hailed a hero. 

“I feel that what I did I had to do, I didn’t want to do it, but I had to do it,” she said.

Zitlali Solache is a student in Florida International University, pursuing her Masters degree in Spanish-Language Broadcast Journalism. Zitlali Solache is Mexican American and has a passion for storytelling and news. She has interned for WPBT PBS, WSVN Channel 7 and STEP Univision. After graduation, Zitlali aspires to become a reporter/anchor in her hometown Miami, FL.