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Plantation pair picked as Troopers of the Year

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Published on Wednesday, August 16, 2006
in the Miami Herald

Two Florida Highway Patrol troopers from Broward County have been selected as the 2006 Troopers of the Year.

Troopers Carlos R. Austin and Jorge L. Lopez-Torres received the award for their work after a fatal crash on the Sawgrass Expressway last year.

Both men are assigned to Troop K in Plantation, which covers the Sawgrass and Florida's Turnpike.

The troopers were honored on Tuesday with a presentation before Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet, FHP Lt. Roger Reyes said.

They were selected as Troopers of the Year from monthly winners from around the state, Delahoz said.

''They're good guys, family guys and they do their job,'' Reyes said.

The crash happened around 10 a.m. on May 10 when a light Isuzu truck and a dump truck collided on the highway, FHP Sgt. Jorge Delahoz said.

The Isuzu was going south when a tire blew out, and the driver lost control, swerving into the northbound lane into the dump truck.

Both vehicles flew off the road and into a canal, Delahoz said. Both were completely submerged, he said.

Austin and Lopez-Torres, with the help of several bystanders, jumped in and pulled out the dump-truck driver, Delahoz said.

They performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived and transported the driver to the hospital. They couldn't save the Isuzu driver, who drowned, Delahoz said.

''They put themselves at risk when they jumped into the water,'' Delahoz said. ``They could easily have drowned themselves.''

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