Major Michael Manning, Troop A Commander, New York State Police, recently presented Jason Walczak, of Blasdell, New York, with a framed Certificate of Appreciation and a Florida Highway Patrol Leadership Coin, for his quick and decisive actions that were instrumental in obtaining emergency medical services and treatment for FHP Corporal Daniel A. DeWeese after he was struck by lightning.
At approximately 12:25 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2005, Corporal DeWeese was investigating 2 separate traffic crashes southbound on Interstate 75 near the 386 mile marker in Marion County. While standing outside by one of the driver's vehicles in the grass median, lightning struck Corporal DeWeese, throwing him into the air and knocking him unconscious in the grass median. Several civilians that Corporal DeWeese was conducting business with, including Mr. Walczak, witnessed what happened and immediately called for help on Corporal DeWeese's radio. At one point, Corporal DeWeese appeared that he was not breathing, so witnesses removed his shirt so it would not restrict him.
The Florida Highway Patrol is grateful for the assistance Mr. Walczak provided to Corporal DeWeese, and also thanks the New York State Police for helping us recognize him for his lifesaving efforts!