Photo/Story Gallery 2003
Troopers Saved by the Belt
A vehicle traveling westbound on CR 466A was in the process of passing another vehicle in a no passing zone. Trooper Hadley attempted to take evasive action onto the shoulder of the roadway to avoid a collision. The other vehicle lost control and collided with the patrol car, causing both vehicles to overturn. As a result of the crash, Trooper Hadley’s patrol car caught fire, but was quickly extinguished by Gregory Wilson and Geraline Gatlin, both residents of Wildwood, Florida, who witnessed the crash and stopped to offer assistance.
Trooper Hadley and Auxiliary Trooper Dunn were both pinned in the wreckage, subsequently extracted, and then airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with numerous broken bones and other non-life threatening injuries. Unfortunately, the lone occupant of the other vehicle expired at the scene of the crash. Both troopers, who were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, have since undergone surgery for broken bones and other injuries and are going to be OK.
Trooper Hadley, a 22-year veteran of the FHP, was recently honored by the Lake and Sumter Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving for being the top DUI enforcement officer from Troop K. FHPA Trooper Dunn was the Patrol’s volunteer of the year in 2002.
The Florida Highway Patrol wishes both troopers a speedy recovery from their injuries, and thanks Gregory Wilson and Geraline Gatlin for their lifesaving efforts at the scene of this terrible crash.