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Family Vacation: Manhunt Memories

Joined: 9/22/2014
Posts: 11
My family, consisting of myself, hubby, and two teenage sons, took a long-awaited, long-overdue vacation to Florida in July. Just like in the movie Vacation, it was a road trip full of adventure, a lot of family bonding, and of course, a few mishaps. We spent two days driving to Florida from Ohio, one amazing week in Pompano Beach, one fun filled day in the Everglades, and two days driving back home.

On our first day driving home, we were on I-75 North near Gainesville when all of a sudden the traffic came to an abrupt stop. We could see police lights flashing but we couldn’t see what happened. We sat there stopped for about fifteen minutes wondering how bad of an accident it was. Finally, the cars in front of us started moving at a snail’s pace. As we crept closer to the lights we were shocked to realize that the officers had their guns drawn facing the wooded area to our right. There were two police cars blocking the road and three parked on the right shoulder. A few feet from the police vehicles we saw an abandoned car with the passenger door wide open.

One of the police officers was crouched down on the ground behind two of the armed officers. He was directing traffic to move forward along the left shoulder and also signaling the cars to go slow. It was a surreal situation. We didn’t know exactly what was going on and had never seen anything like it. We guessed that there was a fugitive in the woods but were wondering why we were being allowed to drive through the middle of it!

My husband told me to get down but I found it difficult to look away. I was still in vacation mode so I took a couple pictures. I put my pillow up to the window as a shield even though I knew that was ridiculous. We safely passed the dramatic scene and all four of us kept our eyes peeled. We stopped at the next rest area along with several other cars. Everyone there was nervously chatting about what we witnessed. No one could quite believe it!

A few hours later, I found the news story on my phone. The article mentioned the highway had been shut down due to a massive manhunt involving an armed suspect that fired several rounds at a trooper and then fled into the woods. The next day, we were surprised to read that the suspect was found dead after a confrontation with officers.

Along with our peaceful, wonderful memories of the beach, the resort, palm trees, pelicans, sea turtles, and alligators, we also vividly remember the manhunt. It was more adventure than we’d expected. I’m sure it’ll be a vacation story my kids will tell their kids someday!
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Comment by warren

Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
Wow! You hit the jackpot with that vacation.
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2015 8:18:31 PM
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