Three Tampa Bay area residents, including one Tampa Police officer, are recovering from a car crashbetween a single passenger vehicle and a police cruiser. The crash occurred on Sunday October 27th, in the northbound lane of the Suncoast Parkway just outside Odessa, Florida.
According to a statement provided by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Officer Kris Babino was driving home after his shift in his police patrol car. The vehicle driving in front of Babino slowed down abruptly and unexpectedly, then turned toward the center median and came to a complete stop. The driver effectively blocked the inside lane of traffic.
FHP authorities explained that Babino could not have possibly avoided the crash and struck the stopped vehicle. Both vehicles were seriously damaged in the collision. Officer Babino was transported to a nearby hospital and treated for a potentially broken left hand. The driver and passenger of the vehicle were also transported to the hospital. The driver was disoriented and treated for minor, non-life threatening injuries. The other occupant was treated for a broken hip.
According to the FHP, the officer acted accordingly and was not at fault in the accident. No information was provided regarding what caused the other vehicle to stop so suddenly in the middle of a traffic lane. On highways and interstates, drivers are not lawfully permitted to stop. Emergency stops are only permitted on the shoulder of the roadway, away from traffic lanes.