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Trooper of the Month
April 2002

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Troopers of the Month/2002-2004
Troopers of the Month
Trooper Recognition

Trooper Palevoda
Trooper Gary Palevoda
Troop L - Lantana

Congratulations to Trooper Gary S. Palevoda for being selected as the recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for April 2002, based on his rescue of a handicapped occupant from a submerged vehicle and his heroic attempts at saving the motorist’s life.

While on routine patrol on Thursday, April 25, 2002, at approximately 6:00 P.M., Trooper Palevoda observed several vehicles pulling off State Road 715 near a lake in Belle Glade. When he approached the area, he saw a van sinking in the lake with an occupant trapped inside. Without hesitation, Trooper Palevoda jumped into the water and swam to the submerged van to rescue the driver. He dove under the water, attempting to free the driver. Even though his efforts were hindered by the fact that the occupant was a handicapped driver in a wheel chair with special restraints, he was eventually able to pull the driver free and bring the driver to the surface. After performing CPR, he had the driver brought to shore so he could be transported to the hospital. Unfortunately, the driver later expired at the hospital.

Trooper Gary Palevoda acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol and is hereby commended for his brave actions.

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