Trooper Michael Uzzell
Troop H - Tallahassee
Congratulations to Trooper Michael Uzzell, Troop H – Tallahassee, for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for November 2005, for his assistance in freeing a motorist trapped in an overturned vehicle involving a chemical and gas spill.
On November 8, 2005, while conducting a stationary laser detail on State Road 8 in Leon County, Trooper Uzzell observed a large recreational vehicle overturn just yards from his location. The crash caused the vehicle to collapse into a pile of rubble. He immediately responded to the crash, utilizing the radio to summon assistance. When Trooper Uzzell approached the vehicle he noticed that a propane tank attached to the vehicle was damaged and leaking heavily. Trooper Uzzell also discovered that a passenger was trapped under the vehicle debris and chemicals carried inside the vehicle had spilled, causing noxious gases to fill the area where he was trapped. The gases made it difficult for the trapped man and Trooper Uzzell to breathe. Despite these perils, Trooper Uzzell maintained his composure and began to attempt to free the trapped motorist while at the same time directing passersby and other first responders to approach with safety so as to eliminate the possibility of a propane explosion. After an extended wait for the Tallahassee Fire Department, which had to respond from the western side of Tallahassee in afternoon traffic, Trooper Uzzell finally relinquished control of the rescue efforts to firefighters who were more properly equipped to free the man.
Trooper Uzzell acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol, and is hereby commended for his actions.