Miami-Dade County

Driver who plowed into trooper on highway was texting and speeding, warrant says

Hugo Andre Olivares was texting and speeding when he lost control of his car and slammed into Florida Highway Patrol trooper Carlos Rosario in March on a busy South Florida highway, his arrest warrant states.

The warrant states he was driving 75 miles per hour on the westbound lane of the Dolphin Expressway near Northwest 107th Avenue when his Chevrolet slammed into the trooper and his Dodge Charger so violently that the parked vehicle lurched forward at about 35 mph.

Olivares, 26, “was actively engaging in a text message conversation” when he spun out and hit Rosario in the morning of March 17, according to the warrant. Police said they took nearly six weeks to arrest Olivares because they needed time to analyze phone records and data from the car’s airbag, even though witnesses placed him behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

Olivares turned himself in to FHP on Wednesday and was charged with reckless driving with bodily injury and reckless driving with property damage.

The accident happened shortly after Rosario stopped his patrol car on the side of the Dolphin Expressway looking to clock speeders. Then, according to troopers, Olivares spun out of control while texting and speeding, and slammed into the trooper and his car. The trooper was standing beside his car.

Olivares never left the scene, but was not immediately arrested even though troopers say he took blame for the accident from the start.

On Wednesday, Olivares was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. His bond was set at $6,000.

Doctors at the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital said that Rosario, who was 37 at the time of the accident, suffered major injuries to his face, spine and lower extremities and had to undergo surgery.

The accident got the attention of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who met with troopers at the time. A GoFundMe page set up to help support Rosario’s family following the crash has raised $76,048.

FHP Lt. Yosmady Veloz said Rosario is undergoing physical therapy, but is “good” and “recovering.”