WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper had a heartfelt reunion with a man he pushed out of the way of an out-of-control car.
Mithil Patel came face to face with Rony Bottex for the first time since Monday, when the pair were nearly killed by a spinning vehicle.
The two men who were once strangers hugged each other Friday and now consider each other family after the incident.
Bottex was involved in a crash and was talking to Patel on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach when another car was rear-ended and sent careening their way.
Patel was injured while pushing Bottex out of the way as the car quickly approached. As he pushed Bottex away from the car, he in turn was hit and went airborne.
“Something just took over me, helped him,” Patel said. “God helped me.”
Bottex credits Patel with saving his life.
“I was talking to Trooper Patel and all I hear is ‘boom.’ He just pushed me out the way,” Bottex said. “He took the hit for me. That’s really, that’s amazing. Unbelievable.”
Patel said he doesn’t remember much of what happened, but he said he would do it all over again.
“That’s why I took the oath, to save and protect everybody, even if it means putting my life in danger,” Patel said, “but it’s just instinct comes in the way, so it’s a good thing.”
Bottex also thanked Patel in front of his fellow troopers on Friday.
“Thank you very, very much,” Bottex said to Patel. “God bless you. We are not friends, we’re family.”
Bottex confessed that he was excited to meet Patel again since the incident.
He even hugged several members of Patel’s family.
“I don’t sleep at all last night. I dressed up since last night. I couldn’t wait to come,” Bottex said.
Patel did suffer some head injuries and said he’s sore, but he is expected to recover. He will spend more time recovering before going back to work.
Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.