Deputy struck on I-95 while aiding motorist
LAKE WORTH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy is recovering in the hospital after being struck on Interstate 95 while stopping to help a driver involved in an accident.
The accident happened at about 5:45 a.m. Thursday in the southbound lanes of I-95, at Sixth Avenue. Investigators said deputy Joe Bialczak and another deputy were on their way to work when they pulled over on the highway and exited their cruiser to help a driver in distress.
According to officials, while the deputies were responding to the driver in distress a silver Mazda spun out of control and hit another car. That car clipped Bialczak while the other deputy jumped out of the way. Luis Perilla, the driver who struck the deputy, said, "I just saw him running towards the car, but my car slid and it just hit the officer and the car at the same time."
Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said, "They stopped and they positioned their vehicles behind the disabled vehicle in order to protect that driver from being rear-ended. Even in the rain they got out and approached the vehicle to check on the driver to make sure he was OK. At that point, deputy Michael Conroy, who is part of the Pompano Beach district, looked over his shoulder and saw a vehicle coming very close, he jumped out of the way, but that vehicle struck the disabled vehicle and then hit deputy Joe Bialczak from our Oakland Park district. He was struck, the impact threw him up onto the vehicle and dragged him about 20 feet, and then threw him off the vehicle."
Rescue crews airlifted Bialczak as a trauma alert to Delray Beach Medical Center. He is in serious condition with head injuries, fractures to his vertebrae and a broken leg.
This is the second time in a week that a BSO deputy has been involved in traffic collision. The last time left a BSO motorman dead.
Lamberti was relieved to report that Bialczak will survive his injuries. "I can't believe this is happening," Lamberti said, "just a week after deputy Chris Schaub was struck and killed in Pompano Beach. Here's another one. It just proves that deputies are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We narrowly averted another BSO tragedy by some miracle."
Witnesses on the scene of the accident said the deputy was alert and talking.
Traffic was backed up for hours as police conducted their investigation. Charges, if any, remain pending.
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