TAMPA, FLA - Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Toni Schuck is returning to full duty after a collision with a drunken driver that left her hospitalized with injuries.
On the morning of March 6, Trooper Schuck was working for the Skyway 10K race. As nearly 7,000 runners crossed the bridge, she heard a radio call, saying a driver hadn’t stopped for the road closure.
Authorities said the driver, Kristen Kay Watts, was traveling north on Interstate 275 and sped past a number of barricades approaching the bridge. Dash camera video shows Schuck steer into the path of the BMW to stop it from going any further and collide with the vehicle.
According to Troopers, Watts blood-alcohol level at the hospital registered at .271 -- over 3 times the legal limit of .08.
Six hours later at the Manatee County Jail it was still above the legal limit, registering at .094.
Both Schuck and Watts were injured in the crash.
Schuck said she had every intention of returning to the Florida Highway Patrol. After all, it was a job she held for 26 years.
"I was sworn to protect and that’s what I felt I did. Hero, that’s just a title," Schuck told reporters in March. "If that’s what they want to say then that’s great. I just feel that what I had to do. I didn’t want to do, but I had to do it.