MIAMI – An Atlanta Braves infielder and his family were involved in a fatal collision with a stolen police cruiser in Florida over the weekend, leaving his two young children in serious condition, reported the New York Post.
Infielder Sean Rodriguez, 31, was driving his wife, Giselle, and their kids in a black Chevy Suburban around 1:45 p.m. Saturday. It was then a man in a stolen Miami-Dade police car hit them broadside near Southwest 99th Street and Coral Way in West Miami-Dade.
The stolen police cruiser burst into flames, killing the unidentified suspect.
Rodriguez, a Miami native who recently signed an $11.5 million contract with the Braves, was not hurt in the accident.
While the ball player was uninjured, other members of his family were hospitalized, reported ESPN. Rodriguez’s wife was listed in fair condition Sunday, at Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami. Their 2-year-old and 8-year-old children were in serious but stable condition at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Stolen police unit
Minutes before the accident, the unidentified man stole the police unit near Southwest 16th Street and 107th Avenue. In his haste to getaway, he quickly lost control of the vehicle. The out of control car sideswiped a Honda Civic while heading in the opposite direction, WSVN7 said. He then rammed the SUV carrying the Rodriguez family.
The police officer had originally responded to a nearby Natural Chicken Grill restaurant to investigate a suspicious package. His proximity to the police unit at the time it was stolen was undisclosed.
Good Samaritan at scene of collision
A Good Samaritan, identified only as Pablo, gave assistance to the Rodriguez family.
“We opened the door. I took the first child out of the car, put her on the floor, ’cause I wanted to get everybody out,” Pablo said.
Atlanta Braves issued a statement
We are aware that Braves player Sean Rodriguez and his family were involved in a very serious car accident Saturday night in Miami, Fla. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the health and well-being of Sean’s family as they look to recover.
Sean Rodriguez signed his multimillion-dollar contract with the Braves in November and is expected to play second base. He previously played for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A nine-year veteran, Rodriguez had the best season of his career in 2016, posting career highs in home runs (18), RBIs (56), batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.349) and slugging percentage (.510).
Off the diamond
A verified Twitter account for Rodriguez says, “Atlanta Braves and I’m a Believer!! Married to the love of my life
@GiselleCRod #Chopon #Bravesfam. 305. Wherever God wants me.”
[email protected] tweeted, “Thank you
@SeanJRodriguez1 for helping us #SLAMT1D at our #SamFuldClassic ’16. We loved having you& your beautiful family back! #WhyWePlay.
Ironically, two prior retweets on his account were Jan 22, following the deaths of fellow MLB players Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte. Ventura played for the Kansas City Royals. Marte played for the Atlanta Braves. Each man was killed in a fatal collision in the Dominican Republic. The accidents were unrelated.
(Feature image is screen shot from tweet @SLAMT1D)