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Violent crash involving Miami Gardens police officer, DUI suspect caught on traffic cameras

Video shows impact of crash after Miami Gardens officer struck
Video shows impact of crash after Miami Gardens officer struck 02:29

MIAMI -- The Miami Gardens Police Department on Thursday released new traffic camera video that showed an early morning crash between one of its officers and a suspected drunk driver.

The officer and two other people in the other vehicle were taken to Jackson Ryder Trauma Center, where the policeman is expected to recover after being treated for an injury to his shoulder, police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said. The department declined to identify the officer, saying only that he has been employed with them for four years.

Luis Andrew James
Luis Andrew James Miami-Dade Corrections Department

One victim remains listed in severe condition as of Thursday afternoon while another victim was listed in critical condition, according to police.

Police said Luis Andrew James, 36, of Miramar, has been charged with DUI and other traffic offenses following the crash. He was taken to the Miami-Dade jail Wednesday but it was not clear if bond has been set in the case.

Investigators said the officer was on routine patrol and traveling southbound on 27th Avenue and approaching 167th Street when his police vehicle was struck by the driver of a black Dodge Charger that was westbound. Police said the driver apparently ran a red light before colliding with the officer.

The impact of the collision pushed the officer's vehicle up an embankment of the nearby Palmetto Expressway.

The remains of a Miami Gardens police vehicle after an early morning crash Tuesday. CBS News Miami

The driver of the vehicle that struck the officer was not hurt.  

"An officer on the scene observed a strong odor of alcohol on the driver's breath, slurred speech and unsteadiness," Noel-Pratt said. "He was immediately placed into police custody."

James was also charged with trafficking crack cocaine and possession of cannabis with the intent to distribute, according to police.

"The two passengers, one is in stable condition at this time I believe they're still in the hospital," Noel-Pratt said. "The other passenger right now is in more severe condition at this time and actually may not make it."

Police said during a news conference that the crash could have been avoided if the driver and his passengers had used a rideshare service or designated a driver who had not consumed alcohol. 

Officials used the event to warn the public about driving under the influence during the holiday season.

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