MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Florida Highway Patrol trooper remains in the hospital in critical condition but stable condition following a crash on Friday, while family, friends and fellow officers continue to support him from the sidelines.
FHP Lt. Yosdany Veloz told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that trooper Carlos Rosario had surgery on his legs Monday morning – his third surgery since the accident. Veloz said Rosario was doing better and was more alert.
Rosario, a 37-year-old husband and father of two, is part of a family with a strong faith. His brother is also an FHP officer. His mother and sister, Charleen Ortiz, drove in from Massachusetts and spoke publicly for the first time.
“I was at work and I broke down in tears. I was in shock,” said Ortiz. “I didn’t even know what to think but I quickly composed myself because I knew I had to be strong because my mom didn’t know yet and I was the one who was going to have to break the news to her.”
Sunday morning was supposed to a big day for the family.
Rosario’s son, Joshua, participated in the HoopMIA All-Star Game at SLAM Charter School, representing his high school, Miami Christian.
Dozens of Florida Highway Patrol troopers, in uniform, showed up to the game in support, while their colleague recovers at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“You can see there’s a whole bunch of troopers out here,” said Lt. Yosdany Veloz. “We are all here supporting this family. Florida Highway Patrol is one family and we are all together.”
Rosario, a 12-year FHP veteran, had been outside his car on the shoulder conducting a traffic stop in the westbound lanes near northwest 107th Avenue when he was struck by an out-of-control car.
FHP identified the driver as 26-year-old Hugo Olivares, in a black 2014 Chevy.
Rosario has undergone a number of surgeries, including a hand surgery Saturday. Family and friends are hopeful he’ll continue to improve.
“We’re grateful to God for my brother’s recovery. He’s doing great,” said Ortiz. “I keep hearing from different people telling me what happened that day and how it’s such a miracle that he’s even here. It wasn’t; it was God.”
FHP says Rosario was part of a detail involved with curbing speeding on St. Patrick’s Day. The accident left at least two vehicles damaged, including Rosario’s patrol car, and is under investigation.
The family established a GoFundMe page to help pay for hospital expenses, which as of Sunday morning had raised over $35,000.