Last Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 3:32 PM EDT
A Brevard County deputy and his K-9 partner are on the mend after their patrol SUV was struck from behind while working an overnight construction detail.
- Brevard County deputy, K-9 injured in crash
- Deputy was working off-duty construction detail
- Florida Highway Patrol investigating the crash
Deputy Kirk Geweniger and K-9 Sonic were working an off-duty assignment, protecting construction workers on I-95 near the Pineda Causeway.
"My job that night was to protect these guys that are out here on the road with no protection but myself," Geweniger said. "Those are the guys that are out there working all night long."
Geweniger had the lights flashing on his SUV while slowly following along with the workers as they put down new road reflectors.
Sonic was in the backseat in his reinforced steel cage.
All of a sudden, a fast-moving car wasn't merging out of the work zone.
"I knew it was going to happen," the deputy said of the collision.
The deputy said he did what he could: put the SUV in neutral, stepped on the brake and braced for impact.
He knew that if he moved, the construction workers likely would have been struck.
"I just looked in my mirror, and he was from about 1,000 feet to slamming into the back of me in a split-second," Geweniger said.
The patrol vehicle spun several times. Geweniger was dazed, but he was alive.
"The tires were screeching — I saw the smoke," he said.
The K-9 in the back seat sprang into the front seat.
"Sonic stuck his head out (and) jumped in my lap," the deputy said. "Was still yelping a little, licking me. I was worried about him, and he was trying to make sure I was (OK)."
Inside the damaged SUV, the deputy's Bible was wedged in the console. The driver's seat was broken and pushed back. A picture of Geweniger's 3-year-old boy hadn't moved. Sonic's cage was barely bent.
After a couple days of reflection, Geweniger says he wouldn't do anything different.
"Some wonder why we are out there," he said. "It's to protect these people."
Both the deputy and his K-9 partner are taking some time off to recover from the crash.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. The driver of the other vehicle wasn't seriously hurt, investigators said.
Deputy Kirk Geweniger and K-9 Sonic (Greg Pallone, staff)