The Florida Highway Patrol says a motorist who stopped his car to rescue a cat that he spotted on Florida's Turnpike ended up causing a crash that killed an elderly Boynton Beach woman and backed up rush-hour traffic for miles.

According to the FHP's report, Michael James Schneider, 35, of Tequesta, was driving through Deerfield Beach when he saw the cat running across the road and pulled over.

"[He] walked into the center lane, was hit by a vehicle," said Sgt. Mark Wysocky. "That vehicle then veered to the right with the [man] riding on the hood, ran off the road and hit the [man's] pickup truck, hit the guardrail and ejected the [man] off the hood of the car into the grass shoulder."

Emergency crews managed to pull 75-year-old Mary Jane S. Alston out of her Honda Accord alive, but she was later pronounced dead at Broward Health North Medical Center.

Schneider was also rushed to the same medical center, where he remains in critical condition.

The crash forced the FHP to close all northbound lanes and divert traffic at Sample Road, causing gridlock that stretched back over five miles toward Atlantic Boulevard.

As for the cat, Wysocky told the Sun-Sentinel that it too perished in the crash.

[screengrab via NBC Miami]