PLANTATION (CBS4) – A Plantation Police K-9 officer is in stable but serious condition at Broward General after a frightening head on collision that involved two other cars.
Chopper 4 was over the crash scene at Broward Boulevard and 70th Street just before 4 p.m. Tuesday. In addition to the cruiser, a gold Toyota SUV and a black Toyota Corolla were also involved in the crash.
CBS4’s Carey Codd reported that it appears that the driver of the SUV jumped the median and slammed head on into the officer’s car, which was heading eastbound on Broward Boulevard.
The black Toyota Corolla slammed into the back of the police cruiser.
The impact was so severe, the jaws of life had to be used to extricate the officer, identified as Curtis Hampton, a 25 year veteran on the force. He was reportedly unconscious when he was loaded onto a backboard, but his condition has improved since arriving at the hospital.
“That’s fantastic news,” said Plantation Police Detective Philip Toman.
Plantation Fire Chief Gordon says the driver of the SUV, a woman in her 40s, was taken to the hospital in serious condition. The male driver of the Corolla had minor injuries.
Emergency crews also worked to free Hampton’s police dog, Rudi. The dog was taken to Hollywood Animal Hospital for observation but appeared to be ok.
A witness who declined to give her name said the driver of the SUV was moving from one lane to another.
“The lady was driving and skipped the lane and went onto the soft shoulder and hit the cop’s car,” the woman said.
Witnesses and people who work nearby said they heard a loud boom around 3:20 pm. After looking at the wreckage, Victor Demesmin doubted whether anyone would make it out alive.
“When I first seen the accident when I came out I said, there’s no way anybody would survive out of that,” Demesmin told CBS 4′s Carey Codd.
People who saw the aftermath of the accident said it was difficult to look at.
“You never know what could happen,” Andre Parra said. “You never know if you’re going back home after work or anything.”
The officer’s K-9 partner was also rescued from the back of the cruiser. The dog appeared unhurt, but was taken to Hollywood Animal Hospital for a check up.
All traffic east of the intersection on Broward Boulevard in both directions was closed for several hours from University Avenue east to NW 69th Avenue.
Plantation Police say the officer was heading east and was on duty at the time of the crash. They said he was not on his way to an emergency call.
The cause is still under investigation. The Broward Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol will investigate the crash.