FLORIDA – Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Master Trooper Toni Schuck has been named the nation’s 2023 Trooper of the Year by the American Association of State Troopers (AAST).
On March 6, 2022, while controlling traffic near Tampa’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge for the Skyway 10k race, Schuck observed a vehicle that had driven through barriers and traffic cones, speeding at over 100 mph. After several attempts to stop the suspect vehicle were unsuccessful, Schuck placed her FHP commercial enforcement vehicle in the direct path of the oncoming vehicle.
According to the FHP, her calculated and heroic decision prevented those participating in the Skyway 10k from the threat of injury or loss of life while instead risking her own.
Schuck suffered injuries but has fully recovered and is back to work, said the FHP. The driver of the suspect vehicle was arrested for driving under the influence.
“I am incredibly proud of Trooper Schuck and her tremendous bravery,” said Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Dave Kerner.
“When a Trooper first takes their oath, they swear to perform their duties fearlessly; not many will face a decision that requires that action. Trooper Schuck fulfilled her oath the day of the race and is a true example of Florida’s Finest.”
“Trooper Schuck exemplifies the values and mission of the Florida Highway Patrol,” said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II.
“There are many things that can be taught, and others are learned. Bravery in the face of certain injury or death is not one of those things; it is something you are. Thank you for your brave service to Florida and the Florida Highway Patrol, Trooper Schuck.”
Schuck, who received the FHP’s 2022 Trooper of the Year in February, was among 24 individuals from across the nation nominated for the prestigious AAST 2023 Trooper of the Year Award. She will be recognized in person later this year.