A North Miami Beach police officer critically injured in a violent crash over the weekend showed signs of improvement Monday, “but was not out of the woods yet,” said Interim Police Chief Bill Hernandez.
"She is a strong, young girl and we are optimistic she will pull through," Hernandez said Monday at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, where Nicole Mood was in the Intensive Care Unit. “The next 24 to 48 hours are crucial.”
Mood, who was on routine patrol, was heading west on Northeast 163rd Street at about 1 a.m. Sunday. At 19th Avenue, a red car turned left in front of Mood’s marked patrol car, sending her car into a light pole, police said.
The 22-year-old had to be freed from her mangled car, police said.
“Nicole was trapped in the car,” said Capt. Richard Rand on Monday. “She was taken out of the car by rescue personnel almost immediately.”
Meanwhile, police said the driver of the red car tried to take off, but had two broken legs and did not make it very far. Both driver and passenger were also taken to Aventura Hospital.
As of Monday, no charges had been filed but Hernandez said the driver of the red car — who has not been identified — was at fault.
Rand said the traffic homicide unit is looking into whether the driver was impaired. Because he was injured, officers were not able to do roadside tests, Rand explained. He said blood was taken at the hospital.
And while the investigation into the crash continues, the law enforcement community as has come together to support Mood, who has been on the force for two years, and her family, who is from West Kendall. Hernandez said her family has not left her side and their has been a steady stream of fellow officers visiting.
Fellow officer Sgt. Jason Ochoa said Mood was always helping whoever she could.
“She was an extremely hard worker and easy to work with,” he said.
Rand asked the community to continue to pray for Mood: “It shouldn’t take situations like this for all of us to come together.
“We’re a police department and we need the community. We need your prayers to help us give our officers prayers. We want to get Nicole out of here and back on the streets so she can continue to protect and serve her community.”
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The North Miami Beach police department will hold a fundraiser for Mood from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 at Wingstop, 1452 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach. The officers will cook, clean and serve and 50 percent of the proceeds will go to Mood and her family.