Published on Thursday, August 17, 2006
in the Tallahassee Democrat
The Florida Highway Patrol has named Troopers Carlos R. Austin and Jorge L. Lopez-Torres as co-recipients of the 2006 Trooper of the Year award.
Austin and Lopez-Torres will be recognized by Gov. Jeb Bush and Cabinet members during today's Florida Cabinet meeting. The Florida Petroleum Council has sponsored the Trooper of the Year Award since 1965. The award is presented annually in recognition of heroism or exceptional performance.
Austin and Lopez-Torres were selected based on the following incident: On May 10, 2005, about 10 a.m., the troopers responded to a head-on crash that occurred on the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward County involving a pickup and a dump truck.
Both vehicles ended up submerged in a canal. With the assistance of passersby, Austin and Lopez-Torres entered the water to free the dump truck driver from the vehicle and rescued him. CPR was successfully administered before the arrival of emergency services personnel.
Austin is a four-year veteran of the FHP assigned to Troop K-Plantation. Lopez-Torres is a seven-year veteran, assigned to Troop K-Plantation.