Cop cam catches semi’s crash into cars near dead panther

A police officer’s dashboard camera videorecorded an unwieldy semitrailer as it smashed full-speed into a row of slowly moving cars on a Florida highway early Thursday after the cop arrived at the scene of a dead panther.

The bone-chilling video, released Friday by the Collier County Sheriff’s office, shows the panther sprawled out in the middle lane of Interstate 75.

A motorist had crashed his pickup truck into the big cat and killed it about 12:30 a.m., the Naples Daily News reported.

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In the video, the police cruiser’s headlights shine on the animal’s carcass as several cars cruise by in the left passing lane.

Then — almost out of nowhere — the semitrailer comes rollicking uncontrollably down the highway and ploughs into the cars ahead.

The cop's dashboard camera was recording the investigation of a panther death when the accident took place.

Naples Daily News

The cop’s dashboard camera was recording the investigation of a panther death when the accident took place.

The people involved in the crash only suffered minor injuries, according to the Naples Daily News.

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Experts say the panther was a young, 120-pound male.

It was the first reported panther death of 2014. The Florida panther is endangered with about only 100 to 160 left in the wild, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

With News Wire Servies

mwalsh@nydailynews.com

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