Trooper Philip Spaziante
Troop A - Panama City
Congratulations to Trooper Philip Spaziante for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for February 2004, based on his life-saving actions involving the rescue of an infant and other occupants in a serious traffic crash.
On February 15, 2004, Trooper Spaziante was patrolling eastbound on CR 274 when he observed a vehicle traveling westbound in the eastbound lane coming head-on at him. This vehicle was passing another vehicle on a hill and curve where passing was prohibited. He clocked the passing vehicle at 81 MPH in a 55 MPH zone before the oncoming vehicle forced him off the roadway. Suddenly, the vehicle ran off the roadway, struck a culvert and overturned.
Trooper Spaziante observed the crash as he was turning around to overtake the vehicle for enforcement action. When he approached the crashed vehicle, he observed two adults and two children in the vehicle and began rendering first aid to the occupants. The children began crying and advised him that the baby was missing. The youngest child, a one year old, was ejected from her child restraint and thrown out of the vehicle when it overturned. Trooper Spaziante began searching the area for the missing baby and found her in a ditch. The baby was unresponsive and not breathing so he immediately started life saving techniques by clearing the baby's airway until she started coughing up blood and crying. Trooper Spaziante then wrapped the baby in his Florida Highway Patrol coat and provided first aid to the baby and the other crash victims until emergency medical services arrived on the scene. The baby was airlifted to a hospital in Tallahassee with critical injuries. Thanks to Trooper Philip Spaziante's brave efforts the child survived the crash and continues to recover from her injuries.
Trooper Spaziante acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol, and is hereby commended for his brave actions. He is greatly appreciated!