Ex-Rep Madison Cawthorn Accused of Injuring Florida Trooper in Rear-End Crash

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn was allegedly involved in a car crash with a Florida State Trooper on Monday, according to witness video and local news reports.

Footage of the scene along the I-75 posted on X by a passerby appeared to show a visibly miserable Cawthorn in his wheelchair on the side of the road, speaking to a trooper just a few feet away from the crumpled hood of his luxury Mercedes.

The bystander said that the Mercedes had been “erratically & aggressively” tailgating her down the highway before she moved to let it pass. Minutes later, she said, traffic came to a standstill, and she realized that the sports car had slammed into a police cruiser up ahead.

“Suddenly the car door opens and a man in a wheelchair rolls out,” she tweeted, identifying the man as Cawthorn.

The woman’s account matched the sparse details shared by the Florida Highway Patrol about the incident. The agency confirmed that a 2021 Mercedes had rear-ended a Florida Highway Patrol Dodge Charger in Collier County around 4:30 p.m. on Monday. It said that the trooper involved in the accident “sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital.”

It did not identify the Mercedes’ driver beyond characterizing him as a 28-year-old man from Cape Coral.

Cawthorn, a 28-year-0ld who currently lives in Cape Coral, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. He moved to the state after losing a primary bid to Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC).

The Highway Patrol said the driver was cited for violating the state’s so-called Move Over Law, which requires motorists to slow down or move over a lane when approaching parked law enforcement vehicles on the highway. The penalty for violations is a fine of up to $158, according to the Miami Herald.

An accident report was not immediately available, with a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles telling the Miami New Times that the record might not be made public for more than a week.

Cawthorn, who lost his re-election bid in the 2022 primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, has had a troubled history on the road.

In 2014, the then-18-year-old was left partially paralyzed after a car crash going home from a spring break trip to Florida. (Cawthorn was not the driver.) He has had multiple traffic stops in the years since, including in March 2022, when he was charged with driving with a revoked license. The charge was later dismissed, according to local reports.

In April 2022, Cawthorn was cited for carrying a loaded gun through a TSA checkpoint at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine. Later that year, he was fined more than $15,000 by the House Ethics Committee after it found he had financially benefited from shilling a viral cryptocurrency, colloquially known as a memecoin, while in office.

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