Florida Honors Indian American Mithil Patel as Highway Patrol Trooper of 2019 for Saving a Civilian’s Life

With Sandeep Dhaliwal, a Sikh Indian American deputy of the Houston sheriff having died on the line of duty, and economist Abhijit Banerjee having donated his Nobel Prize money to Harvard University, it is certain that Indian Americans have raised the bar in service to the nation which they call their home.

Indian American Mithil Patel having recently been honored as the Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year 2019 in Florida is another instance of boundless courage and dedicated professionalism bearing testimony to the above statement. The Florida cabinet and the state governor Ron DeSantis passed a resolution that recognized Mithil Patel as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year 2019.

Mithil Patel Florida Trooper of the year, Indians in Florida, America Indian heroes

Picture Credit: Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

The Trooper of the Year is a prestigious award that is reserved for the State Highway Patrol members in the USA. The award is ceremonially given to the one who exhibits exemplary courage while ensuring the safety of Floridians and visitors to the state. The Trooper of the Year award was incepted in 1965.

The incident which brought the “Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year” title to Mithil Patel dates back to December 3, 2018. The day would have turned a nightmare if Corporal Patel had not acted in a split of a second to save a civilian’s life.

On December 3, 2018, Mithil Patel was carrying out a crash investigation on Interstate 95 and interrogating an individual when a car was speeding in the direction towards them at breakneck speed having lost control. The moment he noticed it, he pushed the civilian with all his might out of the way of the impending danger.

The civilian was spared but Mithil Patel became the target of the speeding vehicle. The car hit Mithil, throwing him into air and inflicting injuries to him. It took him nine months of recovery to get the wounds healed and to be on his feet again. Now he is back to the duty with the same dedication and professionalism.

“Corporal Patel’s bravery is a true example of the remarkable troopers who faithfully serve the citizens and visitors of Florida each day,” said Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV). “I am proud to serve with dedicated troopers like Corporal Mithil Patel, who endangers his own life to save a bystander,” said the Florida Highway Patrol Director Colonel Gene Spaulding.

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