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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Tampa police officer, two others hurt in Suncoast Parkway crash

A Tampa Police Department cruiser was involved in an collision on the Suncoast Parkway on Sunday evening near Odessa, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.

Tampa police Officer Kristoffer Babino, 33, was driving home from work about 5:45 p.m. in a marked 2006 Ford Crown Victoria cruiser in the northbound lanes of the highway about 2 miles north of the State Road 54 toll plaza, troopers said.

A 2002 Lexus IS300 directly in front of Babino suddenly slowed and turned left into the grass median and stopped, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The rear of the Lexus partially blocked the inside lane, making a crash unavoidable for Babino, troopers said.

Babino struck the vehicle in the rear bumper. The cruiser and Lexus sustained extensive damage from the impact, troopers said.

Babino was transported to Tampa General Hospital with a possible broken left hand.

The driver of the Lexus, Rohini Patel, 59, and passenger Medhuakada Patel, 79, both of Spring Hill, were transported to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point with serious injuries, troopers said. One was taken to Bayonet Point by helicopter, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.

Rohini Patel was cited for improper stopping, troopers said.

The roadway was closed by Florida Highway Patrol for nearly two hours and reopened at 7:41 p.m.

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