Photo/Story Gallery 2009
Trooper’s Quick Actions Save Driver
On April 15, 2009, Trooper Danyen Komorek was advised by the Florida Highway Patrol Communications Center of a passenger van that was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-95 in Nassau County.
When Trooper Komorek drove northbound onto the Interstate from State Road A1A she observed smoke coming from the wooded tree line on the east shoulder of the roadway. As she approached the area she found the passenger van was on fire. The van had apparently traveled off the roadway down an embankment through a ditch filled with water and struck a large tree.
Without hesitation Trooper Komorek ran towards the burning vehicle, which was resting in the ditch. She entered the water and located the male driver behind the wheel, who had facial injuries and seemed to be very disoriented. Trooper Komorek tried to communicate with him, but he was unresponsive and unaware of his situation. As the fire quickly progressed to the engine compartment and windshield area of the vehicle, she grabbed the driver’s upper arm and pulled him out of the vehicle.
Trooper Komorek, with the assistance of FDOT Motor Carrier Compliance Officer Donald Horne, then placed the driver on the grass shoulder at a safe distance from the vehicle and remained with him until Nassau County Fire/Rescue arrived. The Nassau County Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire and treated the driver for his injuries. He was then transported to Shands/Jacksonville Hospital for further treatment.
Trooper Komorek’s investigation later revealed that the driver suffered from a severe diabetic problem, which was the reason he was disoriented and had no recollection of what had taken place. Had it not been for Trooper Komorek and her heroic, quick response to this life-threatening situation, the driver may not have survived.