HIALEAH, Fla. -

A Hialeah police officer was airlifted to a hospital after a crash that tossed him into the air and onto a street. 

It happened Monday just after 10 a.m. near West 41st Street and Palm Avenue in Hialeah. 

The officer was on duty as a member of the department's traffic enforcement motor unit, when he somehow collided with a tan Ford Explorer. 

The SUV could be seen with a dent on its side. The driver did stop and was speaking with detectives. 

The officer was seriously injured in the crash. Seconds after the impact, the motorcycle caught fire and was left charred by flames. Fortunately, the force of the collision knocked the officer away from the bike. 

It's unclear who was at fault. Witnesses rushed to the officer's aid after hearing the crash. 

"We were just standing there, talking, and all of a sudden when I looked back, I saw him flying. We heard the bang, then we saw him flying," said a man who was nearby at the time. "I ran over there because I saw it was an officer down and I saw the motorcycle on fire, so we ran over there to help him. He was in the middle of the street, right in front of the other car that was turning left."  

Fellow officers also raced to the scene after hearing the call of an injured officer play out over the radio. 

The officer's identity has not been released, but a department spokesman described him as a longtime veteran of the force.

The officer was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in serious condition, Detective Eddie Rodriguez said.