Miami-Dade police officer, second driver released from hospital after crash

Officer attempting to pull over third driver when crash occurred, police say

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Miami-Dade police officer and another man have been released from the hospital after they were seriously injured Tuesday in a crash.

The officer, who police said suffered facial fractures and a concussion, crashed into a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Norbel Vargas, 30.

Police said the officer was attempting to pull over a third car at the time.

Vargas told Local 10 News that he's at home, but is in pain and wearing a back brace because his back was fractured in the crash.

"It was just a big impact -- a big impact," Gigi Jolly, who lives in the area, said. "I saw something go up in the air (and) pieces were going everywhere."

Investigators said the officer was trying to pull over another driver who refused to stop, but they stopped short of saying that he was involved in a chase when he crashed into Vargas.

"Police were chasing the car, and the car just shot straight through the stop sign," witness Eric Readon said.

Witnesses said two sanitation workers pulled the officer to safety.

"He was like, 'Get me out,'" one of the workers, Christopher Cummings, said. "So I reached in, and grabbed his bulletproof vest and pulled him out of there."

Cummings, a father of four, said he was surprised to see the officer conscious. He said he sat with the officer until help came.

"He was still nervous and I said, 'I'm going to pray for you,'" Cummings said. "He got up in the ambulance and they left."

Witnesses said they are thankful that the officer, who has not been identified, and Vargas are going to be OK.

Detectives are still looking for the person whom they said the officer was originally trying to pull over.

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