Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

This police car was destroyed on the Palmetto. The officer inside was lucky

The remains of Miami Gardens police officer Victor Velez’s patrol car on Dec. 29, 2018. Police say he was rear-ended by a drunk driver on the Palmetto Expressway after 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
The remains of Miami Gardens police officer Victor Velez’s patrol car on Dec. 29, 2018. Police say he was rear-ended by a drunk driver on the Palmetto Expressway after 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Twitter

A Miami Gardens police officer basically walked away from a rear-end crash that turned his patrol vehicle into a mangled, crumpled mess that looked so severe even the rear driver’s side tire looks to be disintegrated.

According to Miami Gardens police, Officer Victor Velez was traveling west on the Palmetto Expressway at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday when he was rammed from behind “by a drunk driver traveling at a high rate of speed.”

Police said the driver, who was in a black SUV that had front-end damage, including a busted windshield, took off on foot but was captured a short time later.

Velez had minor injuries, fellow officers said. He was treated on the highway by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue but taken to the hospital “as a precaution” and released later in the morning.

“Wow!! We are glad Ofc. Velez is okay,” the Fort Lauderdale Police Department tweeted in response.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and hasn’t released the name of the driver or what charges are in store.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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