2 officers in Obama motorcade injured on I-95
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Two Miami Police motorcycle officers in President Barack Obama's motorcade were involved in an accident southbound on Interstate 95, officials said.
Florida Highway Patrol officials said the officers were heading southbound on I-95, clearing the highway so the president could arrive at Miami International Airport undisturbed, at around 9 p.m. Thursday. Police Sgt. Rufus Devane, a 19-year veteran, and Police Sgt. Santiago Cruz, a 22-year vet, were involved in a collision near the juncture between I-95 and State Road 836. "As of right now, we don't know what caused the accident, but indeed two sergeant motorcycle officers crashed right in the middle of that presidential escort," said Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes.
Fire rescue crews took one of the law enforcers to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. According to medics, he suffered road rash as a result of the accident. Medics said the second officer suffered facial trauma and a back injury. "He is undergoing shoulder surgery," said Reyes, "and did suffer some loss to his teeth."
He was taken to JMH's emergency room. "Both sergeants did suffer a great amount of road rash, but as far as any broken bones, that's too early to tell but definitely undergoing MRI's and CT scans," said Reyes.
Devane was released later that night. However, Thursday afternoon Cruz was in surgery. It could be several hours before police know his condition. He is expected to remain hospitalized for a few days while he continues his recovery.
At least 18 other officers parked their motorcycles at the entrance of the ER at JMH as a show of support for their two injured colleagues. "Presidential escort has a variety of departments that cooperate during the presidential escort," said Reyes. "Here at Jackson Memorial Hospital, we've had a number of departments that have come to lend their support for these two motor officers."
The accident resulted in bumper-to-bumper traffic southbound on I-95.
The victims were part of President Obama's police escort as he attended two fundraisers in Miami Beach. Medics said both men remain in stable condition at JMH and are expected to be OK.
Officials said President Obama was not close to the crash and was detoured to take an alternate route to MIA where he was able to leave on schedule.
The commander-in-chief was in South Florida to raise money for the Democratic National Committee in anticipation of the 2014 midterm elections.
Now traffic homicide officers are investigating whether these two officers were traveling at the time of the accident and whether a car seen parked in the medium may have had something to do with the accident.
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