Miami Beach police officer injured, another driver killed in crash during chase

Police say driver of stolen BMW led officers on chase, rammed into 2 cruisers

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach police officer was injured in a crash while pursuing a stolen BMW, police said.

The crash, which occurred shortly before midnight Monday at 76th Street and Byron Avenue, sent the officer to a hospital and left another driver dead.

Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department, said a blue BMW was reported stolen just after 11 p.m. from the area of 74th Street and Collins Avenue while the owner was inside a store.

An officer spotted the stolen car and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver refused and kept traveling east along 76th Street, Rodriguez said.

During the pursuit, the officer was involved in a crash with another vehicle. The woman driving that vehicle was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she later died, Rodriguez said.

She was later identified as 68-year-old Ivonne Reyes. 

"They had a saw," John Gonzalez, who witnessed the crash, said of rescuers. "They cut the whole roof off."

The stolen car was later spotted by other officers and followed into Surfside, where the BMW rammed into two police cruisers and sped away. 

Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates said one of the officers in Surfside was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where the officer was treated for whiplash. The officer has since been released from the hospital. 

The stolen car was eventually found abandoned along the beach walk near 53rd Street, Rodriguez said.

The officer who was injured in the initial crash was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital to be treated for head and chest injuries. Rodriguez said the officer was in stable condition.

Police are searching for the driver who got away. Rodriguez said he was last seen wearing a white hat, white shirt and khaki shorts.

"We are primarily focused, and have been since this event occurred, on finding this very dangerous individual," Oates said.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

About the Authors: