Trooper Ron Roberts
Trooper Ron Roberts, Troop L, Ft. Pierce, waded through chest-high waters of a canal to help rescue an elderly couple trapped inside their crashed vehicle on Wednesday, July 3, 2002. The couple’s Honda Civic landed upside down when it flipped end over end into the canal. An unknown vehicle had swerved in front of the couple’s Civic, forcing the driver to lose control and careen off Interstate 95 in St. Lucie County. They immediately responded to the scene to provide assistance.
At least a dozen rescue workers, along with St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies, responded to the call. Chain saws had to be used to cut through the dense underbrush to reach the couple in their overturned car.
Rescue workers used the "Jaws of Life" to cut open the car to free the couple. Trooper Roberts used his pocketknife to cut the seat belts, which held 72-year old Barbara Maliszewski and her husband Thaddeus, 80, in their seats. Fire and rescue workers helped Trooper Roberts pull the critically injured couple from their car. LifeStar, Martin County’s rescue helicopter, transported the couple to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach where they remained in serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit.