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Miami Lakes mayor crashes into tree after avoiding animal in road

Michael Pizzi suffers minor head injury

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MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi suffered a minor head injury after crashing into a tree in a residential enclave, Miami-Dade police said.

The crash happened Monday night in the area of Northwest 82nd Avenue just south of Commerce Way.

Police arrived at the scene about 10:45 p.m. after receiving calls about a possible hit-and-run crash.

Police said Pizzi swerved to avoid hitting an animal that ran across the street and crashed into a tree, but left the scene before officers arrived.  

According to an accident report, officers spotted fresh blood on the driver seat and center console.

Police said traffic homicide detectives were called in and questioned Pizzi after he returned with a cut on his forehead.

Police said Pizzi did not appear to be intoxicated, but "it was evident that he was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash."

"Like any other human being, I can have a traffic accident," Pizzi said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "Thank God no one was injured and there were no other cars involved and the only property damage was to my car and a tree, which I hope it survives. I am happy that all of the police officers found me to be cooperative and respectful. I am grateful that I was not injured and want to thank those who have reach out to me to express their concerns."

Pizzi recently made headlines for his fight to get his job back as mayor of Miami Lakes.

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Pizzi after he was charged with bribery and extortion in August 2013. Pizzi was acquitted last year, and his attorneys argued that he should have been reinstated to his position, citing state statute.

Pizzi was reinstated as mayor in April.

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