TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet passed a resolution recognizing Corporal Mithil Patel as the 2019 Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Trooper of the Year. Trooper of the Year is awarded to a deserving member of the Florida Highway Patrol for their courage, service, and protection, to ensure the safety and welfare of Floridians and visitors.

“I am proud to serve with dedicated troopers like Corporal Mithil Patel, who selflessly and courageously put himself in harm’s way to save an innocent bystander,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “His actions demonstrate the dedication and professionalism of our FHP troopers, who put their lives on the line every day to protect the residents and visitors of our great state.”

On December 3, 2018, Corporal Patel was conducting a crash investigation on I-95 and began interviewing an individual when another vehicle spun out of control and came barreling towards them. Without hesitation, Patel pushed the civilian out of the way of the incoming vehicle. Due to Corporal Patel’s quick response, the vehicle missed the civilian, but unfortunately hit Patel, propelling him into the air. Corporal Patel spent nine months recovering from his injuries before returning to full duty.

“Corporal Patel’s bravery is a true example of the remarkable troopers who faithfully serve the citizens and visitors of Florida each day,” said Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV) Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “FLHSMV is grateful to the Governor and Cabinet for providing this special recognition to Corporal Patel.”

The Trooper of the Year award was created in 1965 by the Florida Petroleum Council to recognize Florida Highway Patrol Troopers for the work they do each day to ensure a Safer Florida.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. FL is leading the way to A Safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.

This year, the FLHSMV celebrates its 50th anniversary and its Division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) commemorates its 80th year. Learn more at flhsmv.gov/behindthedrive