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NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade Police car and an innocent civilian’s Chevy Malibu we’re heavily damaged when they collided at Northwest 18th Avenue and 87th Street about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“A Miami-Dade police officer advised that a vehicle was refusing to stop,” said police spokesperson Jennifer Capote.
There was no mention of a high-speed pursuit in the radio transmission but two people who told CBS4 they saw the collision, say the officer was flying along, chasing a metallic blue car that got away.
“A car was running the stop signs, just running the stop signs, and he was going like 80 miles per hour,” said Gigi Jolly, who watched the chase coming at her down 18th Avenue.
Police said preliminary information was the squad car had the right-of-way.
Reverend Eric Readon said he saw the accident and that the police car blew a stop sign on 18th Avenue, and the Chevy was unable to avoid hitting the cop car.
“When the police came across the stop sign, (the Chevy) hit the police officer, as the police car turned around his car, spinned around, and hit the tree,” Readon said.
Both the officer who has not been identified and civilian driver, 30-year-old Norbel Vargas, were awake and alert when taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where they were reported in stable condition.
Police are saying nothing about a metallic blue car witnesses say the officer was chasing.
Witnesses describe a grinding collision between the officer’s car and the Chevy that stumbled into the pursuit.
“The police car went up in the air, the other car went up in the air, and pieces were just everywhere,” Jolly said.
Investigators were on the accident scene for nearly six hours.
The officer involved in the crash has been with the force “for about a year,” Capote said.