MIAMI-DADE, FLA. Nov 2 2016 A City of Miami Police officer has been pronounced dead after being thrown off his motorcycle in a multi-vehicle crash, Tuesday afternoon. The crash injured 10 other people.
The multi-vehicle crash occurred at the intersection of Southwest Eighth Street and 137th Avenue, in West Miami-Dade, Tuesday, at around 1:45 p.m. First responders transported the officer to Kendall Regional Hospital as a trauma alert, but he died sometime after.
City of Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes identified the officer as Jorge Sanchez. At a 7 p.m. press conference officials said Sanchez was just a few months away from retirement.
Miami Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #20 President sent out the following statement:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I regret to inform you that Officer Jorge Sanchez has passed away while performing his duties as a law enforcement officer. Brother Jorge was riding his MPD motorcycle when he was struck by a vehicle. He was transported to Kendall Regional Hospital. The Fraternal Order of Police responded to the hospital soon after the crash. Chief Llanes will have a press conference at Miami Police Headquarters at 1900 HRS. The FOP is working with the family and the MPD on funeral arrangements. Please pray for his family. Special thanks to Miami-Dade Police, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami Beach Police and the Florida Highway Patrol for their assistance.”
A procession took the officer’s body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office, just before 6 p.m. The City of Miami Police Department has since lowered its flags to half-staff.
The crash involved at least three vehicles, including a white car, which remained on its side at 5 p.m. At one point, three cars were on top of each other while the police motorcycle was seen crumpled on the other side of the road.
The officer was on his way to work when the crash occurred. The officer was transported as a trauma alert via helicopter to Kendall Regional Hospital.
Witnesses told 7News the officer was sitting at a red light when a vehicle plowed into him, sending him flying through the air.
A man who works at a nearby tire shop said he performed CPR on the officer.
“I was the first one to get there, and I saw the guy on the floor. He was still breathing very lightly,” Alberto Lugo said. “We actually turned him around. We didn’t want to turn him around because we didn’t know if he had a spinal cord injury or anything, but I guess that’s out the window when somebody’s life is on the line, so we did what we could.”
Florida Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation.
It remains unknown how badly the others involved in the crash were hurt, but the officer, who has yet to be identified, was the only one transported as a trauma alert.
Witnesses sent pictures to 7News of cars on their sides and of smoke billowing from the vehicles.
A witness said the fact that the police officer is even alive is a miracle. “Well, this white car was tumbling through the air and then smashes into those cars and smoke was everywhere,” he said.
One patient could be seen waving from a gurney at 7Skyforce HD, as it hovered above the scene.
There was another gurney on the scene, and several people were seen receiving treatment on the road.