MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami police officer is in critical condition after a car crash with an off-duty Uber driver.
Just before 4:30 a.m., the officer was heading south on NW 2nd Avenue when he collided with a Mazda at the intersection of NW 29th Street.
The officer’s patrol cruiser hit a pole and slammed into a plumbing supply business.
“Right now there is a lot that we need to look at but we have learned the officer was responding emergency mode to a call that was a priority,” said police spokeswoman Officer Kenia Fallat.
Jose Hernandez says he was sleeping and was woken up by two loud bangs.When he ran outside he found the Miami police cruiser smashed up against this building and a black four-door vehicle smashed in the middle of the street.
“The officer was unconscious when crews arrived. He was trapped. They had to get him out and transported him to Jackson Memorial Hospital,” said Fallat.
The injured officer, identified as 26-year-old Carlos Gomez, was extricated from his cruiser and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.
Police said Gomez is in his second year with the department and has head and leg injuries.
“It never makes it easier to respond to a crash but when it’s one of our own it’s hard to understand why things happen.Our thoughts and prayers are with him,” said Fallat
The driver of the Mazda, 47-year-old Julio Jimenez, was also taken to the hospital and police say his condition. Has stabilized. They say he may have a broken leg.
A spokeswoman for Uber told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Jimenez is a driver for UBER but was not on call at the time.
She also released a statement that said “Our heartfelt prayers are with the officer, his family and the Miami law enforcement community during this difficult time.”
Police said it is not clear who was at fault in this accident.
CBS4’s news partner The Miami Herald reports that Jimenez had one infraction on his record: a careless driving conviction in 2004 in which he paid a $140 fine.
Police have been speaking with witnesses and have been looking for surveillance tape.