Former GOP congressman crashes into Florida highway patrol vehicle in alleged road rage incident: report

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Former Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn was alleged by a witness to have crashed his vehicle into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser on Monday. 

Alethea Shapiro wrote on X that she was traveling southbound in the left lane on Interstate 75 towards Miami when an aggressive driver in a black sports car began tailgating her. 

“I accelerated ahead and moved to the right lane in front of a tractor trailer to let the car by,” Shapiro recounted. “[Five] minutes later, the highway comes to a complete stop, I swerve to the side so no one rear ends me and slow to a halt. 

“Suddenly, the car door opens and a man in a wheelchair rolls out,” she continued. “At the same moment, I have to navigate around his car and I look ahead to see the officer exiting from his rear-ended vehicle holding his neck in the left lane as well.” 

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Former U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn was allegedly involved in a car accident with a Florida Highway Patrol vehicle on Monday, April 15, 2024.  (Alethea Shapiro/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX)

Shapiro identified Cawthorn as the driver and shared video that purports to show him conversing with the state trooper

“I pulled over to the right shoulder lane and stopped to ask if everyone was ok and to offer assistance. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It occurred to me that former CONGRESSMAN CAWTHORNE [sic] from NC was the black CAR that stormed by me in an angry road rage tantrum,” Shapiro wrote. 

“I spoke to the cop to see if he was ok as he was quite stunned & kept reaching for his neck. He said he was ok, asked if I was a witness, (I wasn’t, I must have been 30 seconds behind) and I gave them water as I didn’t know what else to do.” 

Shapiro said the officer thanked her for stopping. 

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Madison Cawthorn reportedly speaks to official on road

A witness said Cawthorn, 28, was the man driving a black sports car that rear ended the state trooper.  (Alethea Shapiro/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX)

“As I drove away & replayed the surreal scene in my head, I realized it was the same car who was erratically & aggressively driving behind & then around me. Unbelievably scary & upsetting to see.” 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Monday, an FHP state trooper vehicle was rear ended on I-75, at mile marker 60, in a construction zone in Collier County. The other vehicle was a 2021 Mercedes driven by a 28-year-old man from Cape Coral, Florida.

“The state trooper sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital,” Lt. Greg Bueno said in a statement. 

Bueno said the driver of the Mercedes was cited for violating Florida’s Move Over Law. 

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Man purported to be Madison Cawthorn on road

“We can confirm that on April 15, 2024, at 16:30 hours, an FHP State Trooper vehicle (Dodge Charger) was rear ended on Interstate 75, at mile marker 60, in a construction zone, in Collier County, by a 2021 Mercedes, driven by a 28-year-old male from Cape Coral, Florida,” Lt. Greg Bueno told Fox News Digital in a statement.  (Alethea Shapiro/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX)

Public records show that the 28-year-old Cawthorn, who formerly represented North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, now resides in a $1.1 million home in Cape Coral, Florida. 

Once seen as a rising star in the GOP, Cawthorn’s tumultuous term in office was as brief as it was controversial. He infamously claimed to have been invited to orgies on Capitol Hill, a story he later retracted after meeting with then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. 

During his time in office, Cawthorn also faced allegations of insider trading, improper payments and was detained, but not charged, for attempting to take a handgun through a North Carolina airport. He previously had been charged twice with driving with a revoked license. 

Cawthorn lost the 2022 Republican primary to Rep. Chuck Edwards, R-N.C., who went on to win in the general election. 

When reached for comment, Cawthorn would neither confirm nor deny he was the driver who crashed into the Florida Highway Patrol cruiser and directed further questions to his attorney. 

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Cawthorn’s legal representative would neither confirm nor deny his involvement in the accident. 

“Mr. Cawthorn’s prayers go out to the Florida highway patrol officer who was involved in the automobile accident on Monday,” the attorney told Fox News Digital.  

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