This is an e-mail to let the Florida Highway Patrol know how helpful Trooper B. Hartzig was for me. I'm Nancy Wright, who lives in On Top of the World Condominiums in Clearwater. On Tuesday around 5:45 p.m. I had just returned with groceries, and was putting them away in my kitchen, when I heard a loud noise. I continued to put away the cold items, but someone knocked at my door. When I went outside, my neighbors were telling me to look at my car. It had been parked in my parking space, but now it was rotated around 35 degrees and was up on the grass parallel to the sidewalk. The neighbors told me the neighbor in the condo above me, Bill, had been drinking, and rapidly drove his car into mine. Then he had climbed out of his, looked at my car, then rapidly got back into his car and drove away. He came back after 75 minutes or so, right before Trooper Hartzig arrived. Trooper Hartzig interviewed Bill, and put him in the squad car to go find where Bill had left his own car. (He'd played two rounds of golf and left his car near the golf course).
Trooper Hartzig was forced to stay at the scene quite a long time, because we waited on Bill to call his insurance company. He was sugar-coating the extent of damage, even the area of my car's damage, and his role in the accident, so Trooper Hartzig took the phone and let them know the neighbor would have a "hit and run" charge, and that my car was not a simple rear end bump, as Bill was hinting - it wasn't even . Trooper Hartzig also arranged a tow truck to remove my car that evening, since my insurance company had arranged for a next day pickup.
He was so patient and non-complaining about being outdoors in the heat and bugs. He also admonished my neighbor that his drinking had to stop, and that his drinking and driving was totally unacceptable. We could not charge the neighbor with intoxication because we could not test him at the time of the accident, as he had left the premises.
I didn't hear whether my neighbor already had a suspended license, but I did learn that he'd had DUI charges.
Trooper Hartzig interviewed another neighbor about what she'd seen after hearing the loud noise. Today a 3rd floor neighbor said he'd seen it all. Bill had gotten in his own car, then put it in drive, instead of reverse, so had jumped the curb in front of his car, then thrown it in reverse and gunned it, shooting back into my car with enough force to lift it over the curb and rotate it. His story matched what the neighbor Trroper Hartzig interviewed tsaid after that point, as she'd only looked out after she heard the car being hit. The 3rd floor neighbor was very glad that Trooper Hartzig had filed the hit and run charge. He said, "He needs help", meaning Bill has a serious drinking problem and shouldn't be driving at all.
Please pass along to Trooper Hartzig's Supervisor that I was very pleased with his concern, (for both me and for the drunken neighbor), for his patience, for his thoroughness, and for his help in getting my vehicle towed so quickly. His demeanor and professionalism impressed our condo members.
Nancy Eileen Wright