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Duty Officer Amber Pitman.
Duty Officer Amber Pitman

The Florida Highway Patrol is trying to locate anyone who may have been traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 in the area of the 152 mile marker near the community of Sneads, Grand Ridge and Marianna in Jackson County, Florida, around 8:00 p.m. on October 18, 2005. Troopers are looking for witnesses to a commercial truck carrying lumber which lost part of its load along several miles of Interstate 10. Duty Officer Amber Pitman, employed by the Florida Highway Patrol’s Tallahassee Regional Communications Center, was a passenger in a vehicle about a minute or so behind the truck. A 4x4 or landscape-type timber from that truck fell into the direct path of her vehicle. Duty Officer Pitman, off duty in her private vehicle, was enroute to her home when she encountered the timber in the roadway. Her husband, Mark, was driving and swerved in an attempt to avoid the large timber. He subsequently lost control of the vehicle, it overturned and entrapped Duty Officer Pitman. During this crash her spine was crushed and she sustained injuries that have left her paralyzed from the chest down. Duty Officer Pitman was airlifted to Flowers Hospital in Dothan Alabama. After being stabilized she was transferred to Shepherd Spine Care Center in Atlanta. She underwent additional surgery on October 23rd.

Duty Officer Amber Pitman in hospital.
DO Pitman in the hospital.

 

DO Pitman surrounded by co-workers.
LtoR: co-workers Gloria Bryan, Mike Jenkins, Gwen Mason, and Captain Dave Tripp surround DO Pitman.

As the truck has not been located, and Amber has only been employed by the Florida Highway Patrol for nine months, she has less than two weeks of available sick leave, so expenses are now a major concern. Members of the Patrol are donating their personal sick leave to Amber, but additional help is needed. Amber will be in the Shepard Spine Care Center for a minimum of three months. Her husband Mark, and her Mother Donna, are trying to stay in Atlanta with her. In an attempt to defray travel and lodging costs, and acquire another vehicle that will be eventually handicapped equipped, concerned members of the public have been calling to provide financial assistance to Duty Officer Pitman.

There are numerous expenses for her anticipated long term care, refurbishment of her residence to accommodate a paralytic, equipping a specialty handicap vehicle, and day to day living expenses. Her auto insurance coverage will be exhausted, and since troopers have no suspect vehicle, no claims can be made against the suspect who caused this traffic crash.

Duty Officer Pitman dispatched troopers every day to help people involved in crashes and now finds herself a victim. Amber is almost 24 years of age, just married several months ago, and is now facing this life changing experience. Her co-workers are asking anyone who wants to help financially in any manner, to send their financial gift to:

THE DUTY OFFICER PITMAN TRUST c/o Wachovia Bank - Account 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 8 9 8 1 3 0 .

In addition, anyone who may have witnessed this crash, or who may have information about the commercial truck that lost its load, please contact Trooper Michael Baxley at (850) 482-9512.

If anyone has any questions or is able to provide other types of assistance for Amber, please contact Duty Officer Supervisor Mike Jenkins at 850-245-7700, Ext 231, or via email at jenkinsm@flcjn.net.

The men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol thank everyone in advance for helping one of their own, and encourages everyone to forward this information to their family and friends. Again, thank you in advance for your help. Please pass this on to everyone you know in the North Florida/Georgia area.

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