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Trooper of the Month
July 2006

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Trooper Edward Pope
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Congratulations to Trooper Edward Pope for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for July 2006, for saving the life of two motorists whose vehicle crashed into a canal in Charlotte County. For an unprecedented third time this year, Trooper Pope has received the honor of Trooper of the Month.

January 2006

May 2006

On Thursday, July 27, 2006, Trooper Pope was dispatched to a crash on southbound I-75 in Charlotte County and advised that a vehicle was sinking in the water with an unconscious driver still inside. When he arrived on the scene, he found several vehicles parked along the west shoulder of southbound I-75 with several bystanders pointing toward the water. Trooper Pope exited his vehicle and quickly ran to the scene where he saw a white van partially submerged in the water approximately seventy feet from the roadway. He saw two men, one trying to get out of the passenger side window and the other clinging to the roof of the sinking vehicle.

Trooper Pope removed his gun belt and ran into the water, which was above his head in certain areas. He reached for the male passenger trying to exit the vehicle and brought him to an area of the water where he could stand and return to shore. The passenger told Trooper Pope that his father could not swim, so Trooper Pope returned to the sinking vehicle to retrieve the elderly driver who was clinging to the roof. The man would not let go of the roof. Trooper Pope tried to communicate with the man who could not speak English. The gentleman appeared to be concerned about his belongings on the roof of the vehicle, so Trooper Pope grabbed the items and tossed them to the passenger who was standing nearby in the water. Trooper Pope grabbed the elderly man, held him in his left arm, and swam to an area where he could stand. He continued to hold the elderly man in his arms and brought him back to shore.

After the two men were safely on the shore, several bystanders pointed at two alligators swimming toward the van, which was only displaying a small portion of the front left corner of the roof and the driver side portion of the windshield. When Trooper Pope discovered that the two men had no one to pick them up from the scene, he transported them to their place of employment in Fort Myers.

Trooper Pope is to be commended for his quick response in saving the lives of two motorists. His excellent emergency response and police work demonstrate examples of the best tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol. Congratulations to Trooper Pope for once again being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month.

Read more about this incident:

Trooper to the Rescue

Trooper saves two from sinking van
From the Charlotte Sun-Herald - 7/29/06

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