A Florida Highway Patrol officer remained in critical but stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Saturday as police identified the driver of the car that lost control and struck the trooper while he was conducting a traffic stop on the Dolphin Expressway.
Hugo Olivares, 26, of Miami was driving westbound on the expressway on Friday when he lost control of his car, which spun out and struck FHP Trooper Carlos Rosario, according to an agency press release.
Rosario, a 12-year-veteran, was standing on the shoulder of the expressway at about Northwest 107th Avenue when he was struck by the car. Col. Gene Spaulding said Rosario was thrown about 30 feet by the impact.
Olivares and a passenger remained at the scene after the accident and were treated for minor injuries before being released. In a press release, FHP said the reason Olivares lost control of the car is unknown but noted that alcohol was not a cause of the accident.
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Olivares’ moving violations record has been clean since a one per year run from 2009-2011. Tickets for careless driving, running a red light and failure to obey a traffic device earned him $699 in traffic fines. Tardiness in satisfying the sentences for two of those tickets twice caused his license to be suspended briefly.
FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky said in an email on Saturday that Rosario was “stable but still critical” after being airlifted to Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Center, where doctors performed emergency surgery to repair injuries to his face, spine and lower extremities.
Friends and family rallied around the injured trooper, launching an online fund raising effort on the website, GoFundMe.com, which had raised more than $35,400 by Sunday morning.
Herald staff writer David J. Neal contributed to this report.