FHP trooper injured when alleged drunken driver crashes into patrol car

Crash happened Tuesday morning near mile marker 13 and 408

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol said a trooper protecting a construction site was hit and injured on Tuesday morning. 

Officers arrested 25-year-old, Jetzel Jadiel Ortiz-Freytes, Tuesday morning, and charged him with first degree misdemeanor driving under the influence and damaging property. 

The crash happened near the 408 eastbound near Lake Underhill Road and Conway Road at 2:15 a.m. when an alleged drunken driver rear-ended the trooper's vehicle while in a lane closure, officials said. 

A witness to the event described the events in the Florida Highway Patrol's arrest report, saying, "He drove through the the reflective traffic cones and collided with the rear of the patrol car."

The trooper was unable to get out of the car after the crash and sustained a bruised lung and was transported to the hospital.

"He had to kick the door open because the door is pinched because the frame shifted and he was trapped in the vehicle until he could kick the door open," FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said.

Montes said this crash is the exact reason need to use cation near construction zones.

"Had (the trooper) not been there, those construction workers in front of him could have been hit," Montes said.

According to the arrest report, Ortiz-Freytes voluntarily offered that he'd been drinking when officers arrived at the crash and was shortly after administered field sobriety exercises, which he did not pass.

Ortiz-Fretyes bonded out of the Orange Country Corrections Facility Tuesday afternoon.

The trooper was released from the hospital on Tuesday.

Montes said there is no excuse for driving under the influence.

"It's just a reminder there is no excuse anymore to drive after you have been drinking with all the ride sharing and the other opportunities, you should never get behind the wheel while drinking and this is a prime example why you don't do this," Montes said.


About the Authors:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.