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December 11, 2012

Captured on camera: Driver who hit Miami motorcycle officer lied about second driver

A driver who struck a Miami police motorcycle officer leading a funeral motorcade on Monday lied when he said he first swerved to miss another driver, who then fled.

A driver who struck a Miami police motorcycle officer leading a funeral motorcade on Monday lied when he said he first swerved to miss another driver, who then fled.

How was the deception caught? Red-light camera footage of the accident, Miami police said on Tuesday.

The accident sent Officer Juancarlos Erigoyen to the hospital with an injured shoulder.

After the noon-time crash, Hector Ramirez, 49, of Miami, said he struck the officer with his pick-up avoiding a collision with another northbound vehicle at the intersection of West Flagler Street and 37th Avenue.

Ramirez told police the vehicle was driven by a elderly person in “a sky blue or light gray colored, four-door vehicle.”

Miami police began a search for the hit-and-run driver.

But the video showed the driver didn’t exist. Ramirez sideswiped the officer when he tried to make an illegal left turn onto Flagler Street. At the time, the officer was riding on the median ahead of the funeral procession, readying to stop traffic on Flagler.

“The footage captured the defendant’s vehicle, and others around him, stopped in traffic due to a red light...the defendant’s vehicle is seen crossing a double solid yellow line and into the path of Officer Erigoyen as he escorted the funeral procession,” police said in a news release.

Ramirez has been cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

He also faces criminal charges for providing false information in a crash report.

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