Officials Warn About Highway Safety After Driver Killed, Man Injured Trying to Save Cat

The attempted animal rescue created a highway mess that killed a driver, identified by Florida Highway Patrol as Mary Jane S. Alston, 75, from Boynton Beach.

By Betty Yu
|  Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013  |  Updated 10:34 PM EDT
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A man who tried to get a cat out of harm's way on Florida's Turnpike during Monday's rush hour ended up standing directly in its path. Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky spoke about the crash that critically injured Michael James Schneider, 35, of Tequesta and killed a driver, Mary Jane S. Alston, 75, of Boynton Beach.

A man who tried to get a cat out of harm's way on Florida's Turnpike during Monday's rush hour ended up standing directly in its path. Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky spoke about the crash that critically injured Michael James Schneider, 35, of Tequesta and killed a driver, Mary Jane S. Alston, 75, of Boynton Beach.

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A man who tried to get a cat out of harm's way on Florida's Turnpike during Monday's rush hour ended up standing directly in its path.

The attempted animal rescue created a highway mess that killed a driver, identified by Florida Highway Patrol as Mary Jane S. Alston, 75, from Boynton Beach.

"I don't recall that we've had very many of these type cases, but you know it's something that's very dangerous to walk onto an interstate highway or turnpike where traffic is traveling at 65, 70, 75 miles an hour," said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky.

Michael James Schneider, 35, of Tequesta, pulled over just south of the Sawgrass Expressway around 5:15 pm, before he walked into the northbound center lane to pick up the cat, FHP said.

"He rode actually on top of the car that hit him until he lost control and spun into his truck and the guardrail where he was thrown off the vehicle into the grass," said Wysocky.

Schenider was rushed to the Broward Health North in critical condition, where he remained on Tuesday.

Alston was pronounced dead at Broward Health North.

The cat did not survive the wreck.

FHP advises anyone who wants to rescue an animal in danger on the highway to call *FHP (347).

"We can contact the Road Rangers or troopers in the area or maybe we can do some sort of traffic pace and slow the traffic down if we're in the immediate area," he added.


 

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