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Miami-Dade police officer charged months after fatal crash

Officer John Young Song was speeding at nearly 80 mph, prosecutors say

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Miami-Dade police officer has been charged with vehicular homicide months after a crash left one man dead.

The Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office released a news release Wednesday, saying Officer John Young Song, who has been with the police department for six years, was speeding at nearly 80 mph when he crashed his marked police car into a vehicle driven by Emilio Vizcaino on March 6.

According to prosecutors, Song was on duty, but did not have his emergency lights or sirens activated, when he ran a stop sign around 1:30 a.m. and crashed into Vizcaino's car at the intersection of Southwest 260th Street and 147th Avenue.

Vizcaino was pronounced dead at the scene.

"A post-collision inspection of Officer Song's police car revealed that the headlight switch was in the 'off' position, indicating that Officer Song likely did not have his headlights on while he was driving on the dark roads," the news release stated. "Mr. Vizcaino had no chance to avoid the collision with the officer."

Song and another officer in his car were taken to a hospital after the crash but both survived.

Authorities said the officer in Song's patrol car was a rookie Song was training. He had been on the force for three months at the time.

"It is always difficult for a police department to have to investigate one of its own," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "The Miami-Dade Police Department's Traffic Homicide Unit conducted a thorough investigation which revealed that Officer Song's actions took the life of an innocent citizen. I am proud that my office was able to work with them on this case in an unbiased manner, to get to the truth of what happened." 

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan J. Perez said his department is "committed to the highest professional standards, and will always endeavor to achieve our mission while being transparent and accountable for our actions."

Vizcaino is survived by a son and wife in Cuba.


 


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