‘I’d be dead’: Florida cop struck by car after pushing man out of danger

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper is recovering in hospital after he was hit and thrown by a car when he pushed another man out of danger.

Hobe Sound native Rony Bottex says he would “be dead” if it wasn’t for 32-year-old officer Mithil Patel’s actions Monday morning on Interstate 95 near West Palm Beach.

Bottex had already been in one car accident when a local CBS television crew arrived. Video recorded by WPEC shows that Patel was talking with Bottex when a white van rear-ended a dark Audi sedan, sending it spinning towards the two pedestrians.

Patel pushed Bottex to safety before being thrown in the air.

WATCH BELOW: Grandfather thankful after trooper pushed him out of the way of moving car

“What he did for me, he doesn’t do it because he’s a state trooper, he doesn’t for his job,” Bottex told CBS. “He was there to protect a person he doesn’t know. I don’t believe anybody would do the same.”

The 65-year-old grandfather now wears a knee brace and leans on crutches, but is expected to recover. Bottex also had a message for his hero.

“I want to be your family because you’re a good person,” he said. “It’s not what you do, it’s that’s the way you are.”

— with files from The Associated Press

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