Trooper Jorge Rodriguez
Troop K - Miami
Trooper Jorge Rodriguez has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for July 2000, based on his lifesaving actions at the scene of a traffic crash.
On July 16, 2000, at 12:30 a.m., Trooper Rodriguez was patrolling northbound on State Road 821 at the 35 milepost in Miami Dade County. Trooper Rodriguez observed a pickup truck drive off of the roadway onto the grass shoulder and into an adjacent canal. The vehicle began to sink and it was apparent to Trooper Rodriguez that the driver was not able to exit the vehicle. Rodriguez activated his vehicle's blue lights, took off his gunbelt, and jumped onto the bed of the slowly sinking vehicle. After several attempts, Trooper Rodriguez was able to pull the sole occupant out through the driver's window just as the vehicle became completely submerged in the deep canal. Trooper Rodriguez and the driver then swam to safety. Off-duty Trooper Eduardo Santos (from Troop E) stopped and helped both men from the water. Fire Rescue responded and Trooper Rodriguez and the driver were determined to be uninjured. The driver was later arrested for DUI.
Trooper Rodriguez' decisiveness and quick response undoubtedly were instrumental in saving the life of the driver.
Trooper Rodriguez is a 3-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Troop K, Miami.