MIAMI, FL – A police officer in Florida has reportedly passed away after he was involved in a single-vehicle crash during the early morning hours of February 21st.
Officials say that the crash was caused due to a rear tire blowout on the cruiser.
Miccosukee Police officer killed in I-75 crash in Collier Countyhttps://t.co/inMKQ6T1PF
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) February 21, 2021
According to officials, 43-year-old Miccosukee Police Officer Horacio Sebastián Dominguez was headed westbound on Interstate 75 at around 1:20 a.m., when a rear tire on his patrol vehicle blew out near Mile Marker 51.
Investigators say that the patrol vehicle flipped numerous times after Officer Dominguez had lost control of the cruiser.
During the crash, Officer Dominguez was reportedly ejected from the vehicle, with investigators saying that he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.
.@FLCaseyDeSantis and I are devastated by the loss of Miccosukee Police Officer Horacio Sebastián Dominguez. Officer Dominguez, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard, served our state and nation with distinction. We are keeping his family in our prayers. https://t.co/9Jw3f60Ww2
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 21, 2021
Sadly, Officer Dominguez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Miccosukee Police Department gave the following statement after having confirmed the passing of Officer Dominguez:
“Officer Horacio Sebastián Dominguez was a dedicated military veteran, marine and soldier, who served his country honorably and recently retired as a staff sergeant with the Army National Guard. He leaves behind a wife and young daughter.”
The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.
The Sunshine State has been bearing a proverbial dark cloud as of late with regard to fallen officers killed in vehicular incidents.
Merely four days prior to the death of Officer Dominguez, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy was said to have been killed by a suspected drunk driver.
Here’s that previous report.
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – A 30-year-old Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy was reportedly killed by a suspected drunk driver during the afternoon of February 17th, according to reports.
Officials say that the suspected drunk driver, who is a convicted felon, was said to have been driving on a suspended license at the time of the incident.
🚔 THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! 🚔Deputy Michael Magli, 30, was killed when a drunk driver hit him after the deputy put out stop sticks in an attempt to stop the driver. He is survived by his wife and two young kids. @NBC2 https://t.co/UXavSSMxRT
— Gage Goulding (@GageGoulding) February 18, 2021
According to details provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Michael Magli was identified as the deputy killed during the February 17th incident.
Officials say the series of events started when rescue crews had responded to reports of a man, later identified as 33-year-old Robert Holzaepfel, who’d fallen asleep behind the wheel of a Ford F-150 at a red light.
When members of said crew had busted open Holzaepfel’s driver’s side window, he’d reportedly woke up and fled the area.
Deputies who were on the scene attempted to stop Holzaepfel as he was reportedly driving down Keystone Road in a reckless manner. Deputy Magli had reportedly deployed some stop sticks to disable the suspect’s vehicle near Eastlake Road and Forelock Road.
After said stop sticks were deployed, Holzaepfel was said to have lost control of the vehicle and wound up driving directly into Deputy Magli.
Unfortunately, the deputy was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri described the incident during a press briefing:
“As Deputy Magli got out of his cruiser, he removed the stop sticks from the rear of the car and then moved to the road so he could deploy the stop sticks.”
“As he was moving to the west on the median, the suspect’s vehicle spun out, flipped over, and very very violently slammed into Deputy Magli and his cruiser.”
“The cruiser did about a 180-degree spinout, Deputy Magli was pinned under the car…and he is deceased.”
According to Sheriff Gualtieri, Holzaepfel was intoxicated during the incident. Reports also showcase that the suspect has 16 prior felony convictions and was driving with a suspended license during the incident.
Holzaepfel was said to have been taken into custody, with charges against the suspect pending as of this writing.
Deputy Magli leaves behind a wife and two young children with his passing. He was said to have been with the sheriff’s department for eight years, and is the first line of duty death for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shared his condolences on Twitter on the day Deputy Magli passed away:
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Deputy Michael Magli, killed today in the line of duty. [Casey DeSantis] and I are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers, as well as the entire [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office] family. His service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Deputy Michael Magli, killed today in the line of duty. @FLCaseyDeSantis and I are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers, as well as the entire @SheriffPinellas family. His service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. https://t.co/0n4AGaxaJy
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 18, 2021
Sheriff Gualtieri described the fallen deputy’s final acts before his death as a means to “protect people”:
“It was a situation where the person needed to be stopped. Otherwise, he was going to hurt someone else.”
“Deputy Magli was trying to protect people. He was trying to keep others from being hurt by this guy who is driving like a maniac, drunk, reckless, going to hurt somebody so he stepped up like cops do.”
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