A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy was in fair condition at a hospital Thursday after he was struck by a car on I-95 while trying to help a motorist involved in an accident, authorities said.
Joseph Bialczak, 50, was heading to work when he and a colleague stopped to help the motorist in the southbound lanes of 95 at 6th Avenue in Palm Beach County, the BSO said.
He was struck by another vehicle after the driver lost control and was then airlifted to Delray Medical Center around 5:45 a.m.
"And it should send a message to drivers about the Move Over law, that's why it's there,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said. “Number one, move to another lane, and slow down."
The 22-year veteran suffered a broken vertebra, a broken leg and unspecified head injuries.
"The impact threw him onto the hood of the vehicle, it dragged him for about 20 feet, and then threw him off the vehicle, it hit him so hard that it knocked his gun belt off his body,” said Lamberti.
Bialczak was taken as a trauma alert but was said to be alert and talking, the BSO said. Mitchell Lyden, another colleague of the deputy, was at the hospital visiting him.
"He said it just happened so fast, raining really bad, the car came out of nowhere," he said.
The driver, 27-year-old Luis Alberto Perilla, stayed at the scene.
Lyden said the accident was a reminder about the nature of their jobs.
"You know, we know what we're in for each and every day, you never know what each day holds," he said.