Trooper Austin and Trooper Lopez-Torres were officially recognized
as FHP Troopers of the Year by Governor Jeb Bush and Cabinet members
during their August 15, 2006, Florida Cabinet Meeting.
The 2006 Florida Highway Patrol Troopers of the Year are Trooper Jorge L. Lopez-Torres and Trooper Carlos R. Austin.
Troopers Jorge Lopez-Torres and Carlos Austin
On May 10, 2005, Trooper Jorge Lopez-Torres and Trooper Carlos Austin responded to a serious vehicle crash that occurred in a remote section of the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward County, Florida. Upon arrival on the scene, both troopers were advised that the two vehicles, a pickup truck and a commercial motor vehicle, had experienced a head-on collision with one another and both vehicles came to final rest submerged in a canal that bordered the highway. Witnesses to the crash advised the troopers that the driver of the commercial motor vehicle was entrapped in the truck’s cab and there was no sign of life.
Without hesitation, both troopers dove into the murky canal waters and found the unresponsive driver pinned inside the vehicle. Once they freed the man and brought him to the surface, Troopers Lopez-Torres and Austin began to administer CPR. Soon, the victim began to breathe on his own. Shortly, local emergency medical services arrived to transport the victim to a local hospital.
Both troopers acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol and are commended for their life saving actions.
Trooper Jorge Lopez-Torres, a seven year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol and Trooper Carlos Austin, a four year veteran, are both assigned to Troop K, and are responsible for patrolling the Florida Turnpike and other toll roads within Broward County.
LtoR: DHSMV Deputy Executive Director Dave Westberry,
Colonel Chris Knight, Trooper Austin, Trooper Lopez-Torres,
Chief Jim Lee, and Captain James Brierton.