Florida: Davie police sergeant grateful to be alive after being hit by car
Davie police Sgt. Patricia Ravine's back was turned when a 2014 Kia struck her as she walked along Interstate 75's shoulder while trying to reach a crash victim. She survived the late-night Aug. 3 crash and on Thursday, during her first visit to the Davie Police Department since the accident, Ravine spoke about being grateful to be alive. She grew emotional as she also shared about the support of her family, colleagues and the community.
"I'm currently getting therapy and seeing my doctor and just trying to overcome so I can get back to doing what I love, and that's serving the community and being a police officer," she said. Ravine did not want to detail the injuries she suffered, but did say she could not walk unassisted and had trouble recalling recent information. While at the police department, she was joined by her mother and husband, also a police sergeant in Davie. She sat in a wheelchair with her right foot in an orthopedic boot.
Ravine recalled little detail about the crash, which happened shortly before midnight along I-75's southbound lanes just south of Royal Palm Boulevard. The sergeant said she turned on her police car's emergency lights and stopped to help the driver of an SUV in a rollover crash before she was hit by the Kia.
Authorities say the driver Ravine was trying to assist was involved in a single-car crash in his white Ford Explorer. According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, the SUV driver, Alexander Ivan Vanhaute, 31, of Plantation, was intoxicated and charged with a DUI. His blood-alcohol level was nearly 2 1/2 times the legal limit, the report said.
The Kia driver, Jason Daniel Abbuhl, 40, of Miramar, was cited for careless driving after striking Ravine and ordered to pay $190 in court fees and fines, records show.
Following the crash, Ravine was taken to the intensive care unit at Broward Health Medical Center and then transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of South Florida at Memorial Regional Hospital South in Hollywood. She's now been home for little more than a week.
Although thankful to have survived, Ravine said she's frustrated that drivers become distracted behind the wheel and often don't heed the state's Move Over law. It requires motorists to steer clear from first responders' vehicles or slow down if they're unable to safely change lanes.
"This is a perfect example of why we have the Move Over law and how important it is to be aware of your surroundings when you're driving and pay attention," she said. "This kind of thing is avoidable. This didn't have to happen."
Ravine mostly laments not being able to be who she was before the crash for her husband, Sgt. Shawn Ravine, and their three daughters and son, ages 12 to 15. She also has her sights set on returning to the police department that she joined in 2006 someday, she said.
"I love what I do. I get to meet people, I get to help people that are having problems," Ravine said. "I get to be a benefit to society here through my work. That was the whole reason for me stopping that night for that guy."
Sgt. Shawn Ravine said he's confident his wife will return to the force.
"She's the strongest person I've ever met. To see her stand up again, to see her talk, it's amazing because it could have been so much worse," he said. "It's a miracle and we have to thank God that she's here. She loves her job more than anyone that I know."
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