A Florida trucker has been honored for his actions at the scene of a police shooting incident.
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently named truck driver Jason Corino, from Deltona, Florida, a TCA Highway Angel for stopping to shield other motorists from a shooting taking place at a roadside traffic stop in front of him. Corino drives for Melton Truck Lines out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 29, last year Corino was driving on US 491 in Cortez, Colorado, when he noticed a vehicle acting abnormally, preventing him from merging. He later found out a case of road rage between the driver of the car and three pickup trucks led to someone calling police to assist. The car passed him, as well as the three trucks, and then a police car passed Corino, evidently in pursuit of the car.
A few more miles down the road, the vehicle was pulled over right in front of him. Since there was not a proper shoulder to pull over onmto, the stopped cars were partly in the right lane. Corino was in the right lane and had to try to pass them on the left.
“It’s just me, and the officer’s car in front of me and the suspect’s car in front of him and I’ve got traffic behind me,” Corino said. “I got about 100 feet away and the kid got out of the car and I heard the first two rounds (of gunfire) and I slammed on my brakes right there to stop traffic behind me.”
Within seconds, Jason witnessed a deadly shootout erupt between the suspect, Jason Campbell, and the officer, Cortez Police Department Sergeant Michael Moran. Fortunately, he was able to turn on his truck camera and capture the entire incident in a recording, which was later submitted to police.
“I could see the bullets bouncing off the ground,” Corino said. “I stopped right there to protect the people behind me.”
He became a key witness to the incident and the camera footage was extremely helpful to the officer’s investigation. Unfortunately, Sergeant Moran died as a result of his wounds. The suspect, Campbell, and his passenger were later contacted on private property at 7500 US Highway 160, where a member of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and a member of the Cortez Police Department engaged him, resulting in an officer-involved fatal shooting of the fugitive, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Since the TCA Highway Angels program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,400 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage displayed while on the job. Thanks to the program’s presenting sponsor, EpicVue, and supporting sponsors, DriverFacts and Northland Insurance, TCA is able to showcase outstanding drivers like Corino.