Bad weather may have played a role in a violent crash Thursday night between a Miami-Dade K-9 police officer and an Audi sedan carrying eight people, including five children ranging from an infant to 9 years old.
All nine people were taken to area hospitals. The driver of the Audi and a toddler riding in the back were critically injured and taken to Ryder Trauma Center. The officer, who is a 23-year veteran of the force, was in stable condition. His K-9 partner was not injured, police said.
“It’s my understanding that the lights were out in all four directions,” said Marjorie Eloi, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade police. “The weather may have been a factor.”
According to police, the officer, who was not identified Thursday night, was heading southbound on Northwest 57th Avenue with his lights and sirens on to assist West Miami police just before 6:30 p.m.
Eloi said the 2007 four-door Audi was heading east on Flagler and attempting to make a left onto 57th Avenue when the crash occurred. It was not immediately clear if either car stopped at the intersection or who was at fault. When a light is out at an intersection, motorists should treat it as a four-way stop.
“What we know so far is a crash occurred,” she said. “The cause of the crash is still under investigation.”
At least 10 police cars were at the crash site late into Thursday night investigating and police tape blocked the busy intersection. The mangled Audi came to rest on the sidewalk, while the marked police Dodge Charger landed next to gas station. Eloi said investigators were looking into whether the children were in car seats.
Miami Herald photographer Matias J. Ocner contributed to this report.