ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A young woman who hit and badly injured a State Trooper in Orange County was order to pay a fine and go to traffic school Tuesday.
Brittany Mikus didn't talk to Trooper Dave Rodriguez after the judge handed down the punishment.
Rodriguez said he's never gotten an apology from Mikus and said he doesn't expect one. He said he considers the crash an accident and despite his injuries, his only focus is getting better and returning to work.
Rodriguez's cane and slight limp are the only outward signs of the injuries he suffered nearly a year ago.
”It’s been a long, hard recovery. Lot of pain, lot of discomfort, stiffness. It's a lot longer than I imagined it would be," said Rodriguez.
He had just written a speeding ticket along the Beachline back in January of 2012 when 20-year-old Mikus hit him on his motorcycle.
Chris Schoenbohn saw it and stopped to help.
”Something I'll never forget. It was pretty devastating when I saw it happen," Schoenbohn said.
Tuesday, with a key witness missing, the state cut a deal and Mikus pleaded no contest to a charge of careless driving without serious bodily injury. She'll pay a $250 fine and take an eight-hour defensive driving class.
Mikus refused to comment as she walked out of court Tuesday.
"She gets an eight-hour driving class and a $250 fine. That sends a bad message out there. What happens next when a person hits a trooper and kills them? A 16-hour class and a $500 fine? It's ridiculous," said Schoenbohn.
Rodriguez said he's ready to put the legal case behind him.
"My intentions are to get back into uniform and get back to work. It's all I know after doing it 15 years. It's in my heart, it's in my blood. It's my goal," said Rodriguez.
He said he hopes to be back in uniform by next summer.