BOCA RATON (CBS4) – The Delray Beach Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their own Thursday in a horrible car crash.

Sgt. Adam Rosenthal, a 16-year police veteran, was killed when his cruiser crashed into a tree in West Boca Raton early Thursday morning while he was on his way to work. The crash took place at SW 18th Street and Boca Rio Road around 6:00 a.m. The impact was so severe the cruiser was nearly severed in half.

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John Harding, who lives in the neighborhood, said he heard the crash and what got him was there was only that sound; no sounds of squealing tires which meant Rosenthal may not have hit the brakes.

“Ya hear that one solid sound, that was it,” said Harding.  “No tire marks, no noise whatsoever, just the crash, just a boom.”

Rescue crews had to extricate him from the patrol car but despite their best efforts, were unable to save him. He was taken to Delray Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Harding said the curve in the road where the accident took place has been a problem for years.

“This is the third accident this week on this street,” said Harding.  “I’ve been here like three years and this is number 8 on the same area, something has to be done.”

At Delray Beach Police headquarters, friends and co-workers are stunned and devastated.

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“Adam also leaves behind a heart-broken family here at the Delray Beach Police Department,” said a very emotional Nicole Guerriero of the Delray Beach Police Department.

Sgt. Rosenthal was a well-known and well-liked officer in the department.

“The phrase the good die young is true this morning,” said Jeff Mess of the Delray Beach Police Department who noted that Rosenthal had received nearly every commendation possible.

Investigators from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office are still trying to figure out what caused the crash.

What has people concerned who live near the crash site, is that this is not the first accident in that exact same spot. “This is the third accident this week on this street.  I’ve been here 3 years this is like number 8 on the same area, something has to be done,” one resident said.

Sgt. Rosenthal was a highly decorated and respected member of the Delray Beach Police Department who was also the lead Rape Aggression Defense instructor, the Lead DT instructor, a high liability instructor, he initiated and ran a youth martial arts program, a 10 year member of SWAT, an 8 year member of the Street Level Narcotics Team, a community patrol supervisor and a long time PBA representative. Through Adam’s 16 year career, he has received in excess of 88 commendations, performance recognitions and letters for the public to commend him for his service and work in the community.

Rosenthal leaves behind a wife and four children.

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Donations can be made in support of Adam’s family to:
Delray Citizens for Delray Police
300 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33444
(Adam Rosenthal’s name in the memo portion of the check)

Ted Scouten