Drunk Driver Hits FHP Trooper in Miami

Law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency crew staff put their lives on the line every day to ensure the safety of the public.  Even during the course of the routine performance of their duties, accidents can happen and their lives can be put at serious risk.

According to a recent story that appeared on Miami’s CBS Local station, a drunk driver is responsible for striking a Florida Highway Patrol trooper causing serious injuries.

Authorities say that  FHP Trooper  Daniel A. Cruz was at the scene investigating a traffic accident on the northbound lanes of Okeechobee Road at the intersection of the Palmetto Expressway south exit ramp that involved a white Hyundai Elantra and a silver Kia SUV when he was unexpectedly struck by a blue Hyundai Velastar being driven by John Bencosme.

Investigators allege that Bencosme, 26, failed to observe the traffic crash in front of him and rear-ended the Hyundai Elantra.  A chain-reaction then caused the Elantra to rotate clockwise into the KIA which in turn struck Trooper Cruz, throwing him across the roadway.  Cruz had no time to react.

Trooper Cruz was then airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center and suffered serious bodily injuries. He is currently listed by hospital staff as being in stable condition.  Doctors say that Trooper Cruz suffered a broken bone in his lower back as well as injuries to his ACL and PCL and will require reconstructive surgery.

Law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene of the accident noticed that Bencosme smelled strongly of alcohol.  The officers performed a series of field sobriety tests and Bencosme voluntarily allowed officers to collect a blood sample.  He was then placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI.

After his arrest, Bencosme also consented to a Breathalyzer test in a BAC of .201 was revealed.  Bencosme blew a second time just a few minutes later with a BAC level of .190 – more than twice the legal limit. Bencosme has been charged with one count of DUI along with two additional counts of DUI with property damage and one count of DUI with serious bodily injury. He was released on bond on Sunday.  A court date has not yet been set.

Joe Sanchez with the Florida Highway Patrol said that today it is this type of accident is something that has become especially worrisome to officers. “We emphasize telling people that when you see us out there on the road, follow the move over law, reduce your speed.”

Many states have laws on the books that require drivers to move over into the other lane if there are emergency vehicles that have stopped on the shoulder. This is to protect accident victims and emergency responders from getting hurt in an additional crash.

If you live in the greater Miami-Dade area and you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident where a drunk driver is involved, you need an experienced legal representative who will work for your best interests.

Our firm is dedicated to the needs of our clients and will work to ensure that they receive justice and receive fair compensation to cover any hospital or medical costs, loss of work and wages, pain and suffering and other costs in addition to paying for any damages.

Contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation and legal analysis.  One of our attorneys will sit down with you to go over all of the details of your accident case and then will provide you with sound advice on how to best proceed.  We can then begin your lawsuit immediately.  Our offices can also act as your representative when dealing with any insurance or other long-term issues. Contact us today to make an appointment by calling the number at the top of your screen.