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Trooper Patrick Ambroise
End of Watch: Saturday, May 15, 2010

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Law enforcement pays final respects to trooper killed in fiery wreck

Published on Monday, May 24, 2010
in the Miami Herald

As drums played a solemn beat, a black Cadillac carrying the body of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Ambroise passed under a large American flag Sunday and stopped outside the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Inside, more than 2,500 people waited to pay their respects to the fallen trooper, who died on duty May 15 in a fiery crash on Florida's Turnpike. He was 35 years old.

Roberta Ambroise, his widow, stood at the entrance, heaved a heavy sigh, and rocked herself back and forth. She held her 5-year-old daughter's hand and carried her 3-month-old daughter in her arm.

She did not cry.

Gov. Charlie Crist took the widow's hand as they walked into the convention center, which was packed with family members, friends, fellow church members and solemn law-enforcement officers from across South Florida and as far away as New York and California.

Many attendees were from the Eden Seventh-day Adventist congregation, where Ambroise, known to be serious-minded, worshipped. It was the same Little Haiti church where he grew up singing Creole gospel songs.

The memorial began with Hymn 527, The Lord Is My Shepherd, sung in French. The voices of his church filled the auditorium while his picture looked down from projections on giant screens. Then, one by one, those who were part of Ambroise's life took the stage.

FHP Trooper Shenaqua Stinger read aloud a poem, then told the crowd, ``know that Patrick is loved, and we will miss him.''

His brother-in-law, Bermann Flerena, spoke of the imprint Ambroise left on everyone's heart.

``Though Patrick is gone, it is only for a short while,'' Flerena said. ``We will see him again.''

Pastor Michel Porcena told the story of how Ambroise helped his mother cook and clean while she was pregnant with his sister Samantha. He talked about Ambroise's love for his wife and loyalty toward his friends.

``Live an unselfish life,'' he said, ``as Patrick did.''

The silence was pierced only by soft sobs and wails of mourning. Pierre Louis Ambroise looked out for a moment at the thousands of people before him. He clutched his brother's picture -- Patrick's Ambroise's Florida Highway Patrol photo -- and held it out for all to see.

``When I look at Patrick, his face tells you everything about him,'' Pierre Louis Ambroise said. ``He's serious. He has a vision.''

Then the voices of the Eden Mass Choir filled the hall, rising toward the ceiling with chants of hallelujah. One by one, people stood and waved their hands while the song grew more powerful with each hallelujah until the final note, when the entire crowd rose and applauded.

Near the end of the ceremony, FHP Capt. Sammie Thomas recalled the grim night he learned of Ambroise's death. He also spoke of happier times, like when Ambroise persuaded him to support a gospel CD without telling him that it was in Creole.

``Patrick, you were right,'' Thomas recalled saying to Ambroise. ``I listened to the CD and good gospel is good gospel.''

But above all, Ambroise adored his family. ``His smile was never as bright as it was when he spoke about his family,'' Thomas said. ``You could feel the affection in his words.''

Ambroise, a graduate of Miami Edison Senior High School, was sitting in his parked cruiser near the Okeechobee Road toll plaza about 8:30 p.m. -- an hour and a half from the end of his shift -- when a black Lexus veered from the northbound lanes onto the shoulder, slamming full speed into Ambroise's 2006 Crown Victoria. The car burst into flames with the trooper trapped inside.

The Lexus' driver was identified as Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar, who was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Garcia, a college student, appears to have a clean driving record in Florida. Authorities said tests for drugs and alcohol came back negative. No charges were filed.

The Ford Crown Victoria, often used in police work, has come under scrutiny in the past for being involved in crashes with fatal fires.

In 1997, another FHP trooper died in a similar fashion. Robert Smith, 34, died on Interstate 95 when a man police say was drunk plowed into the back of his parked cruiser, causing it to explode on impact. Smith, too, was strapped inside.

Critics of the car say the location of the gas tank, behind the rear axle, makes it more prone to catch fire in a rear-end crash. In 2005, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., sent a letter to Ford, asking the company to conduct a ``major design overhaul'' of the Crown Victoria after a cab driver died in a fiery rear-end crash.

Ford made a set of gas-tank shields available for police cruisers, but it was unclear whether Ambroise's Crown Victoria had been fitted with one.

Ambroise's death is the first of a Florida trooper since January 2007, when Sgt. Nicholas Sottile was fatally shot by a suspect after a traffic stop in Highlands County.

After Sunday's ceremony, Ambroise's body taken to Dade Memorial Park, where family members and law-enforcement officers stood under what little shade they could find. Sobs broke out as troopers folded the flag on top of Ambroise's casket. A bagpipe began to play, and Miami-Dade helicopters thundered overhead.

Dispatchers performed a final roll call, calling out Ambroise's identification number, 1233, three times.

After hearing no reply, the dispatcher announced: ``1233 has been retired from service. May he rest in peace.''


SoFla Trooper Laid to Rest

Published on Monday, May 24, 2010
on Miramar WTVJ NBC (CH 6)

Funeral for Trooper Ambroise

The issue of officer safety on the roads was front and center Sunday, as a Haitian hymn kept emotions in check for friends and family at the funeral of killed Florida highway patrol officer Patrick Ambroise.

Ambroise had come to this country 22 years ago and got a job defending its laws. For a few, hymns were not enough as they broke out in uncontrolled screams of grief. Some had to be literally carried away so the funeral could continue in the hot afternoon sun.

Roads were jammed with a slow-moving funeral procession as hundreds of law enforcement officers came from a memorial service at the Miami Beach Convention Center to the Dade memorial park near Opa Locka to pay their final respects.

Ambroise’s death happened May 15 on the Turnpike in Miami-Dade County near the Okeechobee exit. A young driver smashed into the rear of Ambroise's patrol car on the shoulder, causing a fire and trapping Ambroise inside. The third driver was injured and is in serious condition but is stable. Tests found no alcohol or drugs in his blood, FHP says.

"When these things happen like this,” said Col. John Czernis, the man in charge of the Florida Highway Patrol, “we see the impact it has on not just one person but on a family and a community."

Czernis attended the funeral service and the memorial service. Governor Charlie Crist was there too, along with friends from across the continent, like a childhood friend of Ambroise who said she lives in Quebec, Canada.

"So it's very painful for me because he's like a brother,” said Judith Ippolit who grew up with Ambroise in Cap Haitien, Haiti. “The closure’s going to be better for me just because I'm assisting at his funeral."

The accident, the memorial service and the funeral are a stark reminder that too few Florida drivers are following the "Move Over" law.

"Could be a patrol car, an ambulance or a tow truck. Do the right thing. Move over or slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit," blares the FHP’s promotional video for the “Move Over” law, which requires approaching drivers to move over one lane whenever they approach official vehicles on the roadside with flashing lights.

FHP is working hard to raise awareness. And they do hand out tickets. There've been so many officers hit and even more close calls. As a result, hundreds of people had to say goodbye to Ambroise.


Trooper remembered after fatal car wreck

Published on Sunday, May 23, 2010
on WZVN

LEE COUNTY: This weekend law enforcement members across Southwest Florida and the state are remembering the life of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty.

Last Saturday, Trooper Patrick Ambroise lost his life in a fiery car wreck.

With just over an hour left in his shift, Ambroise was sitting in his patrol car on the Florida turnpike near Miami when a car veered onto the shoulder and slammed into Ambroise's cruiser.

The car burst into flames and Ambroise was trapped inside and killed.

Saturday, Flags were at half-staff at the Fort Myers F.H.P. station and troopers are wearing black bands adorned to their badges.

The entire fleet is mourning the loss of one of its own.

"He's just starting out. He has a family. He has young children. His family will face a hardship and his kids won't know their dad. All of those are terrible things to happen," said Corporal Linda Powell.

Now troopers tell us this tragedy should have never happened.

They're upset that drivers still are not obeying Florida's "move over" law put into place eight years ago.

"I think it's scary being an officer. Period. There's a lot of things you have to worry about, you shouldn't have to worry about traffic as much as the person you're stopping having a gun, unfortunately it's not always that way," said Powell.

She says with Ambroise's death, comes anger.

Florida's "Move Over" law was created to protect law officers and tow truck workers.

It requires drivers to move into the next lane or slow down to 20 miles per hour when passing a parked law enforcement officer, emergency worker or tow truck driver.

The violation comes with a $159 fine, but troopers say it doesn't get the attention it deserves.

"It's amazing how many people aren't even aware of the law. Just about every state has the 'Move Over' law now, so there's no excuse for it," said Sergeant Mike Gideons.

Ambroise is the 43rd trooper killed in the line of duty.

As local officers plan an elaborate sendoff for this weekend, including helicopters, motorcycles and the color guard, F.H.P. troopers hope the loss of Ambroise's life sends a message to drivers: That a tragedy like this could happen to any law enforcement officer, at any location in the state.

"It's downright scary," says Sergeant Gideons.


Thousands turn out for fallen Fla. trooper's funeral

Published on Sunday, May 23, 2010
in the Bradenton Herald & the Miami Herald

A slow-moving motorcade, led by hundreds of Florida Highway Patrol troopers on motorcycles, eased up to the Miami Beach Convention Center Sunday morning to pay final respects to Trooper Patrick Ambroise of Miramar.

Ambroise, 35, died May 15 in a fiery car crash on the Florida Turnpike that has raised questions about the safety of his police cruiser.

On Sunday, as drums played a solemn beat, a black Cadillac carrying the body of Trooper Ambroise passed under a large American flag suspended from a Miami Beach fire-rescue truck and stopped outside the sprawling convention center.

Roberta Ambroise, his widow, stood at the entrance, heaved a heavy sigh, and rocked herself back and forth. She held her 5-year-old daughter's hand and carried her 3-month-old daughter in her arm. She did not cry.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist took the widow's hand as they walked in to the convention center, which was packed with family, friends, fellow church members, and a solemn crowd of about 1,000 police officers from all over South Florida.

Many attendees at the funeral were from the Eden Seventh Day Adventist congregation, where Ambroise attended worship services, the same Little Haiti church where he grew up singing Creole gospel songs.

The memorial began with Hymn 527,?The Lord is my Shepherd,' sung in French. The voices of his church filled the auditorium while his photos were projected on giant screens. Then, one by one, those who were part of Ambroise's life took the stage.

FHP Trooper Shenaqua Stinger read aloud a poem, then told the crowd, "know that Patrick is loved, and we will miss him."

His brother in law, Bermann Flerena, spoke of Ambroise's imprint on everyone's heart.

"Though Patrick is gone, it is only for a short while," Flerena said. "We will see him again."

Ambroise, who joined the FHP force in January 2006, is to be buried at Dade Memorial Park Cemetery, 1301 Opa-locka Blvd. later Sunday afternoon.

Ambroise, a graduate of Edison High School, was sitting in his parked cruiser at around 8:30 p.m. -- just an hour and a half from the end of his shift -- when a black Lexus veered from the northbound lane onto the shoulder, slamming full speed into the rear of Ambroise's 2006 Crown Victoria. The car burst into flames, trapping the trooper inside. The driver of the Lexus that hit him was identified as Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar. Garcia was flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries.

Garcia, a college student, appears to have a clean driving record in Florida. Authorities said tests for drugs and alcohol came back negative for the driver. FHP said no charges have been filed.

The model of Ambroise's vehicle, the Crown Victoria, often used in police work, has come under heavy scrutiny in the past for being involved in crashes with fatal fires.

In 1997, another FHP trooper died in a similar fashion. Robert Smith, 34, was killed on Interstate 95 when a man police say was drunk plowed into the back of his parked cruiser, causing it to explode on impact. Smith, too, was strapped inside.

Critics of the car say the location of the gas tank, behind the rear axle, makes it more prone to catch fire in a rear-end crash. In 2005, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer sent a letter to Ford, asking the company to conduct a "major design overhaul'' of the Crown Victoria after a cab driver was killed in a fiery rear-end crash.

Ford made a set of gas-tank shields available for police cruisers in 2003, but it's not clear whether Ambroise's Crown Victo-ria had been retrofitted to address the fuel tank issue.

Ambroise's death is the first of a Florida trooper since January 2007, when FHP Sgt. Nicholas Sottile was fatally shot by a suspect after a traffic stop in Highland


Friends, Family Say Farewell To Fallen Trooper

Published on Sunday, May 23, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

Flanked by four Florida Highway Patrol motorcycle officers, the body of Trooper Patrick Ambroise journeyed by hearse to the Miami Beach Convention Center where a memorial service was held.

Ambroise died last Saturday in a fiery accident on the Florida Turnpike.

The 35-year-old trooper left behind a wife and two young daughters; ages 5-years-old and 3-months-old.

On arrival at the convention center, an honor guard carried the casket containing Ambroise's body inside where the mourners were greeted by FHP Chaplain Rick Braswell. Jean Baptiste Monestime led the gathered in an inspirational hymn in Creole. The Reverend Luc Pierre read the opening prayer after Clifford Laguerre read a passage from Scripture.

After an inspirational song from Rachelle Oliver, Trooper Shenaqua Stinger, his brother-in-law Berman Flerena and good friend Jean Monestime talked about what Ambroise was like as a friend, a co-worker and as father.

Patrick's brother Pierre Louis Ambroise then took the podium and spoke about what it was like growing up. He said Patrick was always determined and focused on making a better life for his family and looked forward to starting his own business one day. He said as a boy Patrick was never afraid of getting his hands dirty, or working hard, because despite any obstacles he always had a burning desire to succeed.

Ambroise then joined a church choir that he formed with Patrick and some other men, of which the brothers were the only original members left.

Pastor Michel Porcena then offered a eulogy in Ambroise's memory.

Pierre Louis Ambroise then got up again and spoke. He talked about how he and Patrick had carved out a little world for themselves, took care of each other, were partners and brothers.

"He was my brother, my best friend, my advisor and my business partner," said Ambroise. "As teenagers and young adults we had our own group, the group that just sang. It lasted 17 years. Patrick as my right, I'm his left hand, sometimes I was his left hand and he was my right hand, sometimes he was left, I was his right, we worked it out."

He also spoke about the death of his father and impact it had on him, Patrick and the family. He also vowed to take care of his brother's family no matter what it took.

"I'm not going to cry. Just remember that I will do whatever it takes, whatever I can, that includes giving my own life. Patrick's funeral and my own dad's funeral will take about 10 to 15 years from my natural life but I'm willing to give that up because you guys deserve it. My brother deserved that and more. In 35 years Patrick was not a flashy guy, he had done more than anyone could imagine. I know because Patrick and I are business partners, we are best friends."

After a song by the Eden Church Mass Choir, Governor Charlie Crist took the stage and offered his condolences to Ambroise's family. Crist said when you look back on Patrick's life remember his kindness, his courage and his strength. The governor said Patrick became a public servant, a law enforcement officer, because he wanted to stand up for right.

"So we will celebrate and remember that which I am sure he learned from his mother and his father. So God Bless You for teaching your son well," said Crist who offered a final word to Roberta Ambroise. "Roberta know this before we depart. Roberta you are not alone, ever. All these people in this room, all of these law enforcement officers and their families are here for you, always, and for your entire family. Take comfort in the fact that anytime you need anything, anywhere, from anyone of us all you have to do is ask."

Following the governor two members of the FHP spoke about what is what like to work with Patrick, describing him as a devoted employee who was quick with a smile. They said his smile was never brighter than when he was talking about his family.

"Patrick is a good man, God fearing and that's the kind of person you want as a friend, son, for his wife, a husband just because he's honest, he would do anything to help anybody," said Ambroise's partner FHP Trooper Shenaqua Stinger. "He was usually the butt of the joke, but he could take a joke. He was a really good guy. I'm going to miss him a lot."

FHP Capt. Sammie Thomas Jr. was in the hospital when Trooper Ambroise's 3-month-old baby Chloe was born. He hopes that she and her 5-year-old sister Chelsea will know how much he loved them and what a good man he was.

"We have lost a true, dedicated soldier," Thomas Jr. said and described him as a "Godly, Godly man -- a person that would give you the shirt off his back. Sometimes you didn't know what direction the smile was coming from, whether there was a joke behind the smile, but yes, he had a smile that would melt butter."

Mourners then watched a special video presentation of pictures of Ambroise's life at home with his wife and children.

Following the service, Ambroise was buried at Dade Memorial Park Cemetery.

Ambroise began his career with the Florida Highway Patrol as a graduate of the 111th recruit class of 2006. He was assigned to Troop K, Miami upon graduation where he has been serving since.

Ambroise was parked on the right shoulder of the Turnpike just north of the Okeechobee interchange when his patrol car was rear-ended by a 19-year-old Jonathan Garcia. The impact from the accident trapped the Ambroise in his car and sparked a fire in the gas tank which engulfed the vehicle. Charges are still pending.

This is not the first time a car fire has killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In 1997, nearly the exact situation happened to trooper Robert G. Smith, who also died at the scene.

Newer models of the Ford Crown Victoria, like the one driven by Ambroise, usually come with an automatic fire suppression system meant to extinguish fires for rear-end collisions without any human intervention. They can also come with special trunk packs meant to prevent objects in the trunk from piercing the fuel tank. It's not clear if any of these systems were installed in Ambroise's patrol car.


Agencies team up to reinforce `Move Over' law

Published on Friday, May 21, 2010
in the Miami Herald In memory of a state trooper killed by a driver last week, 21 Miami-Dade police agencies joined forces to crack down on law-breaking motorists.

Just last year, Sweetwater Sgt. Jorge Delara worked alongside Florida Highway Patrol trooper Patrick Ambroise.

``He was sitting right there,'' Delara said Thursday, pointing at an empty chair inside a mobile mini-station. ``We were processing a DUI. He'll never get to do that again,'' he added softly, shaking his head.

Ambroise died Saturday when a Lexus plowed into the back of his cruiser on Florida's Turnpike. The vehicle burst into flames with the officer trapped inside. In his honor, 80 officers from 21 departments hit the streets Thursday to nab law-breaking motorists.

From 8:30 a.m. to noon, cops working out of makeshift command posts in Medley and Virginia Gardens fanned out in cruisers and on motorbikes along sections of Okeechobee Road and Northwest 36th Street, respectively.

Medley police already had planned the event as a ``Click it or Ticket'' mega-patrol targeting unbelted car occupants. After Ambroise's death, they incorporated enforcement of Florida's ``Move Over'' Law, enacted in 2002 to prevent tragedies such as what happened to Ambroise.

Medley police Lt. Joseph Olmedo, who helped organize Thursday's operation, said the officers issued 646 traffic citations, including 236 to drivers who ignored the ``move over'' law. Under the measure, drivers must shift over a lane if they see an emergency vehicle on the roadside, giving it a wide berth. Those who cannot move over must slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

According the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, more than 150 officers have died since 1999 after being hit by motorists along U.S. roads.

Since 2000, 47 states have put ``move over'' laws on their books.

``The vast majority of people stopped for move-over [violations] say they had no idea about the law,'' South Miami police officer Ralph Baumer said, just after he and Medley police Officer Maria Perez arrested a man for using fake insurance documents.

Employees from several insurance companies helped the operation.

The group also handed out 169 citations to folks not wearing seatbelts and distributed 765 pamphlets on the ``move over'' and seatbelt laws. They also made seven arrests.

``We got an arrest at Northwest 87th Avenue and 35th Lane, the BankAtlantic,'' came a scratchy voice over the mini-station's radio. ``Outstanding warrant. Female.''

Delara grabbed the handset. ``Got it,'' he said, turning to Virginia Gardens police Officer James Scrima. ``We need a wrecker at 87th Avenue and 35th Lane.''

Delara said the event reflected the close working relationships among officers from the county's many departments. ``We work together. We help each other. When something like that happens,'' he said of Ambroise's death, ``it hurts all of us.''

Jonathan Garcia, 19, driver of the Lexus that killed Ambroise, was not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police have said. No charges have been filed.

Ambroise's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr.


Memorial, Funeral For Fallen Trooper This Weekend

Published on Thursday, May 20, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

Family, friends and fellow officers will gather this weekend to memorialize and say their final farewells to a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper who died in a fiery crash on the Florida Turnpike last weekend.

Last Saturday Trooper Patrick Ambroise was parked on the right shoulder of the Turnpike facing northbound in the area just north of the Okeechobee interchange when he was rear-ended by a 19-year-old Jonathan Garcia. The impact from the accident trapped the Ambroise in his car and sparked a fire in the gas tank which engulfed the vehicle.

The 35-year-old trooper left behind a wife and two young daughters; ages 5-years-old and 3-months-old.

A public viewing for Ambroise will be held Saturday, May 22nd, at 7:00 p.m. at the Tabernacle Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 8017 NE 2nd Ave in Miami.

Ambroise's funeral will be held Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center. CBS4.com will have a live stream of the procession to the Convention Center and the funeral service.

Garcia was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries. Initial tests showed Garcaia has no drugs or alcohol in his system.

Ambroise began his career with the Florida Highway Patrol as a graduate of the 111th recruit class of 2006. He was assigned to Troop K, Miami upon graduation where he has been serving since.

This is not the first time a car fire has killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In 1997, nearly the exact situation happened to trooper Robert G. Smith, who also died at the scene.

Newer models of the Ford Crown Victoria, like the one driven by Ambroise, usually come with an automatic fire suppression system meant to extinguish fires for rear-end collisions without any human intervention. They can also come with special trunk packs meant to prevent objects in the trunk from piercing the fuel tank. It's not clear if any of these systems were installed in Ambroise's patrol car.


Traffic Enforcement Blitz In Medley, Hialeah Area

Published on Thursday, May 20, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

A warning for drivers in several northwest Miami-Dade cities; fasten your seat belts, move over if you see a police officer, fire rescue or tow truck helping someone on the side of the road and don't even think about speeding.

On Thursday the Northwest Community Traffic Safety Team, comprised of more than sixty police officers from a number of agencies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers, will beef up enforcement in Medley, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens and Doral as part of Click It or Ticket Seat Belt Use Awareness Month.

"All of you know that it's been widely ignored," Lt. Joseph Olmedo, a Medley Police officer.

But not everyone favored the stepped up enforcement, especially those being ticketed.

"I will be taking this to court. I think this is entrapment. I understand the importance of it. I understand they are trying to crack down. I understand about the officer that was killed on the side of the highway. But this is absolutely entrapment," said Tim Zimmer after receiving a ticket.

In addition to targeting drivers or their passengers who are not buckled up, officers will also be strictly enforcing the state's Mover Over law in honor of FHP Trooper Patrick Ambroise who died when his patrol car, which was parked on the side of the Florida Turnpike, was rear-ended by a 19-year-old driver. The gas tank on Ambroise's car ruptured on impact, he died in the resulting fire.

"All of you that have been stopped somewhere. You know the people won't even slow down. They'll just pass you like you weren't even there. From 2000 to 2008 we have lost 144 police officers nationwide that have been struck by vehicles. That's an alarming rate. We have to do something about it," Olmedo said.

According to the "Move Over" law whether you're driving on the highway or on a city street if you see a police officer or other official on the side of the road, legally you need to switch lanes to give them some space, and if you can't switch lanes at the very least you need to lower your speeds to 20 miles below the speed limit.

A public viewing for Ambroise will be held Saturday, May 22nd, at 7:00 p.m. at the Tabernacle Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 8017 NE 2nd Ave in Miami.

Ambroise's funeral will be held Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center.


Police promote safety laws following officer's death

Published on Thursday, May 20, 2010
on Miami-WSVN (FOX)

DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- The loss of another South Florida police officer has law enforcement statewide promoting two very important laws.

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Ambroise died after a driver slammed into the back of his patrol car. The recent tragedy has officers all over Florida promoting the Click it or Ticket campaign as well as reminding drivers to move over when they see an officer conducting a traffic stop.

Thursday, dozens of officers are spreading the important message to drivers. "We're also enforcing the Move Over law. A lot of Floridians, a lot of people throughout the state don't know that we've had this law in the book since 2002, and the purpose of it is to make sure that the officers get home safely," said Doral Police Lieutenant James Dobson.

Authorities believe Jonathan Garcia was driving while distracted when he rear-ended Ambroise's patrol car that was parked on the side of the highway.

Officers from Aventura, Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens are just a few of the agencies participating in the multi-agency effort.

Authorities are not only spreading awareness of the Move Over law, but they are also looking for those speeding, not wearing a seat belt or driving and not paying attention to the road. "What happens is people are not paying attention to what they are doing, they are watching the police officer to see what he's doing, and they're not moving out of his way in case he needs to get out of the car or do what he has got to do," said Virginia Gardens Police Lieutenant Curtis Hodges.

A funeral service will be held for FHP Trooper Ambroise at the Miami Beach Convention Center Sunday, at 11 a.m.


Trooper's Death Reinforces Need for Move Over Law

Published on Thursday, May 20, 2010
on NBC6.NET South Florida

Florida Highway Patrol officers put their lives on the line each and everyday, protecting motorists on the highways, and the continuing failure of drivers to obey an 8-year-old law is making their jobs even more dangerous.

Troopers like Lt. Alex Annunziato, who spends much of his time on the clock dodging cars zipping past him, sometimes within inches, at deadly speeds.

"Because people don't move over, I can't even approach them on the driver side," said Annunziato, during a recent shift on a dark highway. "Whoa, that was close," he remarked after a car buzzed past.

All too often, the troopers' courageous efforts to patrol the Sunshine State highways can turn tragic. Last Saturday, Trooper Patrick Ambroise lost his life when a motorist plowed into the back of his patrol car.

"You think about, I've been parked on the side of the road countless times, and to think that in an instant you could lose your life, it's pretty sobering," Annunziato said.

In an effort to help protect police officers or other emergency vehicles on the roadways, Florida passed the Move Over Law in 2002. But eight years later many motorists still are not compliant.

"It's imperative that they move over and give a safe environment for law enforcement and emergency personnel to work in," said Annunziato.

The law requires motorists to "move over" one lane away from the emergency vehicle when lights are active, or drop their speed limit at least 20 mph below the posted speed limit. If motorists fail to do so they could be cited $164.00.

"If you see an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road, there's no reason why you have to drive [so close]," said Lt. Annunziato. "Literally, I can stand out and touch this car as it comes by me, because people are not paying attention."

Since 1999, more than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed after being struck by vehicles on America's highways. Currently 43 states have passed the "move over" law.

"This is what you're facing," said Annunziato. "You get out of the car, not only are you worried about the individual that you're stopping, now you're worried about what's going on behind you."


Ceremonies for FHP trooper killed in crash set for weekend

Published on Wednesday, May 19, 2010
in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Funeral ceremonies for the Florida Highway Patrol trooper killed in a fiery crash in Miami-Dade County have been scheduled for this weekend, FHP announced Wednesday.

A wake for Trooper Patrick Ambroise, 35, will be from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at Tabernacle Seventh-day Adventist Church, at 8017 NE Second Ave., Miami.

His funeral will start at 11 a.m. Sunday at Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach. The length of the ceremony wasn't provided, but when it ends, Ambroise's body will be taken for burial to Dade Memorial Park Cemetery, 1301 Opa Locka Blvd., Miami.

Ambroise was in a crash Saturday evening near the Okeechobee Road exit on Florida's Turnpike interchange in western Miami-Dade County.

He was in his parked 2006 Ford Crown Victoria when a Lexus veered from the northbound lane onto the shoulder and struck the rear of Ambroise's cruiser, FHP said. Ambroise was trapped in his vehicle as it burst into flames, FHP said.

FHP on Wednesday also said it has obtained toxicology results for the Lexus' driver — Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar.

An exam of his blood and urine showed no signs of drugs or alcohol, FHP said. No charges have been filed. The crash remains under investigation.

Ambroise, who began his career with the agency on Jan. 12, 2006, is survived by his wife Roberta, and two daughters, ages 3 months and 5 years old, FHP said.


Family and Friends Mourn Trooper Killed in Crash

Published on Tuesday, May 18, 2010
on NBC Miami

Patrick Ambroise dedicated to church and family

Florida Highway Patrol Family and friends spent Sunday mourning the loss of Florida Highway Patrol trooper Patrick Ambroise, who died on the job in a horrific car crash in Miami-Dade.

The 35-year-old Ambroise, a married father of two, was killed Saturday night when a car veered into the shoulder and slammed into Ambriose's patrol car which was parked on the right shoulder of the northbound lanes of the Florida Turnpike in western Miami-Dade.

Members of the congregation at Eden Seventh Day Adventist Church in Little Haiti were shocked to learn of their fellow parishioner's death.

"First of all, he was a good, Christian guy," said friend Maudira Escarment outside church Sunday. "I spoke with him yesterday when he came to church, I spoke with him and I did not know yesterday was going to be his last day.

"It's very terrible, tragic."

Ambroise, a four-year veteran of the FHP, was nearing the end of his shift around 8:30 p.m. when the Lexus, driven by 19-year-old Jonathan Robert Garcia, collided with his Crown Victoria. The trooper's car burst into flames, killing Ambroise at the scene.

Investigators are trying to figure out what caused Garcia to veer into the shoulder. Garcia is still recovering from injuries at Jackson memorial Hospital.

On Monday, a special flag that once flew over Ground Zero before the 9/11 attacks made its way to Miami, where it will sit next to Ambroise's body for the next few days. The honor flag makes its way across the country where it pays tribute to officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Colleagues were understandably devastated at work yesterday.

"So they did roll call and he didn't answer," said a teary Laurie Williams.

The FHP will be holding a news conference Monday morning to discuss the accident.


Colleagues Express Sadness Over Fallen Trooper

Published on Monday, May 17, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was killed in a horrific accident Saturday night was a "hero to all Floridians," according to the state's Lieutenant Governor. Sources are telling CBS4'S Peter D'Oench that the 19-year-old driver whose Lexus allegedly hit the trooper may have been distracted by his cell phone and may have been texting before he veered to the side of the Florida Turnpike and hit and killed the 35-year-old trooper, who was trapped in his car when it burst into flames.

"There is little evidence so far that alcohol was a factor in this crash," the source told D'Oench. "Distraction is one of the key things we are looking at. We are also looking at fatigue and the driver's inexperience as well. "

FHP says it was 8:30 Saturday night when 19-year-old Jonathan Garcia's Lexus slammed in the back of Ambroise's 2006 Crown Victoria, which was pointed northbound on the Florida Turnpike just north of the Okeechobee Interchange. The impact sparked a fire in the gas tank and his car burst into flames. Paramedics were not able to save him.

Garcia was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital where FHP says he is in serious but stable condition. JMH told D'Oench he was listed as a "no information" patient and his family did not want to speak. So far, he has not been cited or charged. That is pending the investigation, said FHP.

On Monday, relatives of Ambroise gathered at his mother's home in Miami. Ambroise's brother, Pierre, who is a family spokesman, said the family would speak to the media on Tuesday.

"There are plenty of things to say, but no time for it today," Pierre told D'Oench. He said the family was busy on Monday making funeral arrangements. "My family's in mourning. I'm in the mourning stage right now."

Florida Highway Patrol troopers stood before a podium Monday with a picture of Patrick Ambroise. His colleagues who wore a black band around their badge to express their grief spoke outside the Miami FHP headquarters and described Ambroise as the type of person who would give you "the shirt of his back."

Officials refused to answer questions about the accident saying it was "an ongoing investigation."

His commanding officer Sammy Thomas said Patrick "was a fine officer and was a father of two beautiful daughters."

"He dedicated his life to the service of this state. He dedicated his life to the service of his family," Thomas told the assembled press Monday. "Anytime any member of this organization [dies] it naturally affects us. We strive to prevent death and carnage out here. We put our lives on the line to protect the public and that's what Patrick did."

Sgt. Manny Jimenez said of Ambroise, "He was a religious man, he was a caring man. This is a tragic event. We are here for each other. We are here for Patrick's family. We are going to miss him."

"All of us are taking this really hard," said Trooper Shenaqua Stringer, who was Ambroise's "Zone partner" for three years.

"We really lost a good guy," said Stringer. "For three years he was my partner and for three years he gave me something to go to work for. I always knew he had my back. There wasn't a day on the turnpike when he didn't talk about his wife and kids. And to his family, I know he loved you."

"I send my most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Ambroise, who was killed in the line-of-duty Saturday night," Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp said in a statement. "Trooper Ambroise's sacrifice to make Florida a safer place to live should never be forgotten. His wife and two children should always remember that Patrick Ambroise is a hero to all Floridians."

The U.S. Honor Flag is on display in Miami to honor the FHP trooper who lost his life in a fiery crash.

The flag, which travels the U.S. to honor fallen law enforcement officers, arrived in Miami early Sunday morning from Washington DC to honor FHP Ambroise who died Saturday night when his patrol car erupted into flames after is was struck from behind by another vehicle.

Ambroise, 35, leaves behind a wife and two young daughters; ages 5-years-old and 3-months-old.

By Sunday, many had expressed their grief on the social networking website Facebook. A cousin who identified himself as Jimmy wrote, "It's with a heavy heart and eyes overflowing with tears that I say rest in peace. To others, he was a friend, but to us he was family."

Another Facebook friend who identified himself as Darnell wrote, "woke up this morning wishing that what I heard last night was just a bad dream. But it's not. I love you."

Ambroise had also turned to Facebook and in January posted the following message: "Live each day as if it was your last."

Ambroise began his career with the Florida Highway Patrol as a graduate of the 2006 recruit class. He was assigned to Troop K, Miami upon graduation where he had been serving since.

This is not the first time a car fire has killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In 1997, nearly the exact situation happened to trooper Robert G. Smith.

Newer models of the Ford Crown Victoria, like the one driven by Ambroise, usually come with an automatic fire suppression system meant to extinguish fires for rear-end collisions without any human intervention. They can also come with special trunk packs meant to prevent objects in the trunk from piercing the fuel tank. It's not clear if any of these systems were installed in Ambroise's patrol car.

On Monday, FHP would not say if Ambroise's vehicle had an automatic fire suppression system.

The state has tried to prevent accidents like these by enforcing Florida's Move-Over law, which was put into place in 2002 but which troopers claim has been largely ignored by motorists.

The law requires motorists approaching emergency personnel working at the side of the road to either change lanes to create a safe zone for them, or to slow down to 20 m.p.h. below the speed limit until they pass the scene.


Florida Highway Patrol troopers remember co-worker killed in crash

Published on Monday, May 17, 2010
in the Miami Herald

Members of Florida Highway Patrol Troop K came together Monday to pay tribute to Trooper Patrick Ambroise, who died Saturday in a fiery car crash that has raised questions about the driver that hit him and the safety of the trooper's police cruiser.

The troopers wore black bands over their badges, lowered the flag at Miami FHP headquarters in West Miami-Dade to half-staff and spoke about the colleague and friend they had come to know over the past four years.

``Anytime we lose a member of this family, it quite naturally is going to affect us,''FHP commanding officer Sammy Thomas said. ``We take these highways personal. We work everyday and put our lives on the line to protect the public and that's what Patrick did.''

Thomas focused on honoring Ambroise's memory, describing him as a dedicated and godly man who would ``give you the shirt off his back.'' Troopers declined to comment on the investigation into the crash, which happened Saturday evening near the Okeechobee Road toll plaza on Florida's Turnpike.

Ambroise was sitting in his parked cruiser when a black Lexus veered from the northbound lane onto the shoulder, slamming into the rear of Ambroise's 2006 Crown Victoria. The car burst into flames, trapping the trooper inside.

The driver of the Lexus has been identified as Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar. Garcia, who was flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries, is in fair condition Monday. FHP said no charges have been filed as the investigation continues.

Garcia, a college student, appears to have a clean driving record in Florida.

Part of the probe is whether Garcia was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, whether he was distracted by cellphone use and whether he fell asleep at the wheel.

The model of Ambroise's vehicle, the Crown Victoria, often used in police work, has come under heavy scrutiny in the past for being involved in crashes with fatal fires.

Critics of the car say the location of the gas tank, behind the rear axle, makes it more prone to catch fire in a rear-end crash. In 2005, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer sent a letter to Ford, asking the company to conduct a ``major design overhaul'' of the Crown Victoria, after a cab driver was killed in a fiery rear-end car crash.

Ford made a set of gas-tank shields available for police cruisers in 2003, but it's not clear whether or not Ambroise's Crown Victoria had been retrofitted to address the fuel tank issue.

Ambroise's death is the first of a Florida trooper since January 2007, when FHP Sgt. Nicholas Sottile was shot to death by a suspect after a traffic stop in Highlands County.

Ambroise, a graduate of Miami Edison High who lived in Miramar at the time of his death, began his career with FHP in January 2006. He was assigned to Troop K in Miami upon graduation. He served there ever since.

On Sunday, at Ambroise's childhood home in Little Haiti where his mother still lives, cars piled up outside as a steady stream of family and friends came to pay their respects.

``We are a very close, tight family,'' said Eddy Colas, a cousin. ``It's a very sad situation for all of us. We're just trying to hang together.''

Funeral arrangements are being finalized.


Trooper who died mourned in Little Haiti

Published on Monday, May 17, 2010
in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Ambroise spent his Saturday as he normally did: as a Seventh-day Adventist, he attended worship services at the same Little Haiti church he attended as a youth. Afterward, he went to visit his mother, and then went to work.

The 35-year-old wasn’t feeling well. His wife, Roberta, told him to call in sick.

“But he was very committed, very responsible. He went to work, and we lost him,” said his minister, Pastor Luc Pierre, who said his Eden Seventh-day Adventist congregation and the community is in mourning following Ambroise’s death Saturday night.

An hour and a half before his shift was scheduled to end, the four-year FHP veteran, who lived in Miramar, was killed as he sat inside his parked cruiser near the Okeechobee Road toll plaza on Florida’s Turnpike. Around 8:30 p.m., a black Lexus veered from the northbound lane onto the shoulder, slamming into Ambroise’s 2006 Crown Victoria. The car burst into flames, trapping him inside.

Ambroise, a father to two daughters, aged 3 months and 5 years, died at the scene of the crash. The driver of the Lexus has been identified as Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar. Garcia, who was flown to Jackson Memorial Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries, was in stable condition Sunday. No charges have been filed while the investigation continues.

This is the first death of Florida trooper in more than three years. In January 2007, FHP Sgt. Nicholas Sottile was shot to death by a suspect after a traffic stop in Highlands County.

Ambroise, a graduate of Miami Edison High School, began his career with FHP as a graduate of the 111th recruit class in Tallahassee in January 2006. He was assigned to Troop K in Miami upon graduation, where he had served ever since.

At Ambroise’s childhood home in Little Haiti on Sunday, cars crowded outside as a steady stream of family and friends came to pay respects.

“We are a very close, tight family,” said Eddy Colas, a cousin. “It’s a very sad situation for all of us. We’re just trying to hang together.”

One of Ambroise’s brothers, Pierre Louis Ambroise, said the family wasn’t ready to speak publicly about his brother’s death.

Although Ambroise had moved to Miramar, he and his family still came back to Miami to Little Haiti each Saturday to attend services at Eden, a 700-member church.

A father of a His childhood minister, Pastor Michel Porcena, said Sunday Ambroise was active at Eden Seventh Day Adventist Church in Little Haiti, where he sang with a gospel group, Esperanza, and worked as an elder to the youth.

“It’s a tragedy,” said Porcena, who married Ambroise to his wife, Roberta, six years ago. “He took things seriously - whether his work, church or family life. He was someone you could rely upon.”

Ambroise was born in Cap-Haitien, Haiti but grew up in Miami. In addition to his wife and two daughters, he is survived by his mother, three brothers and three sisters.

Florida’s 2002 Move-Over Law requires motorists to slow down or be a lane away from police, ambulances and tow truck drivers on the shoulder or side of the road.

Between 2000 and 2008, 144 police officers nationwide have been killed because they were struck by vehicles, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Most states have laws that require drivers to give emergency vehicles a wide berth.

Last December, a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy was injured on the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Oakland Park Boulevard after he sat inside his car, parked to the left of the HOV lanes writing a ticket.

“This is a big loss, for the community, for the church, for FHP,” said Pastor Pierre. ‘‘He is dead, and we have to mourn his departure. But we have hope as Christians that we will see him again.”


Honor flag arrives in Miami to honor FHP trooper

Published on Monday, May 17, 2010
in the Miami Herald

MIAMI — A United States flag that flew over Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 attacks has arrived in Miami to honor a Florida Highway Patrol trooper killed in an on-duty crash.

Trooper Patrick Ambroise was killed Saturday after another vehicle crashed into his parked patrol car on Florida's Turnpike. Ambroise was trapped in his car and pronounced dead at the scene.

The honor flag has traveled around the country since the terrorist attacks to pay tribute to police, fire, and military officers who have died in the line of duty.

The flag will be stationed by the trooper's side as he is remembered by colleagues and loved ones.


FHP Trooper Dies In Fire After Car Accident

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

A Florida Highway Patrol officer died Saturday night after the car that he was in was hit on the Florida Turnpike and burst into flames. The accident happened just after 8:30 p.m.

According to CBS4's Gio Benitez who is at the scene of the accident, the FHP trooper's car was on the right shoulder, possibly running radar on the traffic. A driver in a Lexus then hit the trooper's car from behind.

The impact from the accident sparked a fire in the gas tank. FHP said the trooper's car ignited and trapped the trooper inside the car. He died from his injuries on the scene.

The Lexus did not catch fire and the driver was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center.

CBS4 sources said the trooper was in his 30's and leaves behind two small children.

This is not the first time a car fire has killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In 1997, nearly the exact situation happened to trooper Robert G. Smith, who also died at the scene.

The state has tried to prevent accidents like these by enforcing Florida's Move-Over law, which was put into place in 2002 but which troopers claim has been largely ignored by motorists.

The law requires motorists approaching emergency personnel working at the side of the road to either change lanes to create a safe zone for them, or to slow down to 20 m.p.h. below the speed limit until they pass the scene.

Troopers stage regular enforcement operations to raise public awareness.


FHP Identifies Trooper Killed In Fiery Crash

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

A Florida Highway Patrol has released the name of a trooper who died Saturday night after his patrol car was hit on the Florida Turnpike and burst into flames.

The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. when the driver of a Lexus slammed into the back of Trooper Patrick Ambroise's Crown Victoria patrol car that was parked on the right shoulder of the Turnpike facing northbound in the area just north of the Okeechobee interchange.

The impact from the accident sparked a fire in the gas tank which engulfed Ambroise's car, trapping him inside.

The driver of the Lexus, identified as 19-year-old Jonathan Garcia was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries.

Ambroise, 35, leaves behind a wife and two young daughters; ages 5 years old and 3 months old.

Ambroise began his career with the Florida Highway Patrol as a graduate of the 111th recruit class of 2006. He was assigned to Troop K, Miami upon graduation where he has been serving since.

The U.S. Honor Flag arrived in Miami early Sunday morning from Washington DC where it will be flown in Ambroise's honor.

This is not the first time a car fire has killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In 1997, nearly the exact situation happened to trooper Robert G. Smith, who also died at the scene.

The state has tried to prevent accidents like these by enforcing Florida's Move-Over law, which was put into place in 2002 but which troopers claim has been largely ignored by motorists.

The law requires motorists approaching emergency personnel working at the side of the road to either change lanes to create a safe zone for them, or to slow down to 20 m.p.h. below the speed limit until they pass the scene.


FHP Identifies Trooper Killed In Fiery Crash

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
on CBS 4 Miami

The Florida Highway Patrol released the name of a trooper who died Saturday night after his patrol car was struck by another vehicle trapping him inside. The impact caused his patrol car to burst into flames.

The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. on the Florida Turnpike when the driver of a Lexus slammed into the back of Trooper Patrick Ambroise's Crown Victoria patrol car that was parked on the right shoulder of the Turnpike facing northbound in the area just north of the Okeechobee interchange.

The impact from the accident sparked a fire in the gas tank which engulfed Ambroise's car.

The driver of the Lexus, identified as 19-year-old Jonathan Garcia was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries.

Ambroise, 35, leaves behind a wife and two young daughters; ages 5 years old and 3 months old.

By Sunday, many had expressed their grief on the social networking website Facebook. A cousin who identified himself as Jimmy wrote, "It's with a heavy heart and eyes overflowing with tears that I say rest in peace. To others, he was a friend, but to us he was family."

Another Facebook friend who identified himself as Darnell wrote, "woke up this morning wishing that what I heard last night was just a bad dream. But it's not. I love you."

Ambroise began his career with the Florida Highway Patrol as a graduate of the 111th recruit class of 2006. He was assigned to Troop K, Miami upon graduation where he has been serving since.

The U.S. Honor Flag arrived in Miami early Sunday morning from Washington DC where it will be flown in Ambroise's honor.

This is not the first time a car fire has killed a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In 1997, nearly the exact situation happened to trooper Robert G. Smith, who also died at the scene.

Newer models of the Ford Crown Victoria, like the one driven by Ambroise, usually come with an automatic fire suppression system meant to extinguish fires for rear-end collisions without any human intervention. They can also come with special trunk packs meant to prevent objects in the trunk from piercing the fuel tank. It's not clear if any of these systems were installed in Ambroise's patrol car.

The state has tried to prevent accidents like these by enforcing Florida's Move-Over law, which was put into place in 2002 but which troopers claim has been largely ignored by motorists.

The law requires motorists approaching emergency personnel working at the side of the road to either change lanes to create a safe zone for them, or to slow down to 20 m.p.h. below the speed limit until they pass the scene.

Ambroise had also turned to Facebook and in January posted the following message: "Live each day as if it was your last."

May 15, 2010 was his.


Highway Patrolman Dies In Fiery Crash

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
on Miramar WTVJ NBC (CH 6)

Authorities say a Florida Highway Patrol trooper died after his patrol car was rear-ended by another vehicle while stopped along the shoulder of Florida's Turnpike.

The FHP says 35-year-old Patrick Ambroise was killed while on duty Saturday evening.

Ambroise was parked on the right shoulder of the northbound lanes of the Turnpike in western Miami-Dade County when investigators say a second vehicle veered onto the shoulder and struck his car. A fire was sparked in the gas tak.

Ambroise was trapped in his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the second vehicle, 19-year-old Jonathan Robert Garcia, was transported by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital with serious but stable injuries.

Ambroise leaves behind a wife, Roberta, and three-month-old and five-year-old daughters.

Florida's Move-Over law was passed in 2002 in an effort to prevent such accidents. The law requires motorists to either change lanes away from shouldered emergency personnel or slow to 20 miles per hour, but law enforcement says the rule is largely ignored.


WSVN-Ch. 7 reports trooper killed in Miami-Dade turnpike crash

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
in the Orlando Sentinel

Florida's Turnpike lanes for northbound traffic were blocked late Saturday near the Okeechobee Road toll plaza in northwest Miami-Dade County as troopers investigated a wreck.

WSVN-Ch. 7 reported late Saturday that a state trooper was killed in the crash, struck by another vehicle while stopped on the side of the highway. The trooper's vehicle burst into flames, the station reported.

The crash happened about 8:30 p.m.

Troopers blocked all lanes of the highway, then re-opened the lanes for southbound traffic just before 10 p.m.

FHP's website, which shows all crashes and incidents that troopers are responding to on the highways, reported that the lanes for northbound traffic on the Homestead Extension of the turnpike were blocked at the 35-mile marker — the Okeechobee Road exit — and the lanes for southbound traffic were blocked at the 43-mile marker — the Red Road/Northwest 57th Avenue exit.


Trooper killed in Miami-Dade Turnpike crash

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
in the Palm Beach Post

A 35-year-old Florida Highway Patrol officer was killed in a fiery collision Saturday evening in northwest Miami-Dade County when his patrol car was stuck from behind on the Florida Turnpike.

Patrick Ambroise, who had just marked his fourth anniversary as an FHP officer, was trapped in his car and engulfed in flames. He was prounounced dead at the scene.

Ambroise, in a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria, was parked on the right shoulder of the northbound toll road just north of the Okeechobee Road interchange at 8:39 p.m. when his vehicle was struck from hehind by a 1995 Lexus, according to FHP investigators.

The driver of the Lexus, Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar, veered from the northbound travel lane and struck the rear of the officer's car.

Garcia was taken by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, according to FHP officers.

Traffic on the Turnpike was diverted in both directions for more than an hour while officers investigated rhe crash and then cleared the scene.

Ambroise began his FHP career after graduating with the 111th recruit class in Tallahassee on January 12, 2006. He was assigned to Troop K in Miami.

Among survivors are his wife Roberta, and two daughters, ages 5 and 3 months.

The crash remains under investigation.


Trooper killed in Fla. Turnpike crash

Published on Sunday, May 16, 2010
on WPTV NBC 5

Miami – A 35-year-old Florida Highway Patrol officer was killed in a fiery collision Saturday evening in northwest Miami-Dade County when his patrol car was stuck from behind on the Florida Turnpike.

Patrick Ambroise, who had just marked his fourth anniversary as an FHP officer, was trapped in his car and engulfed in flames. He was prounounced dead at the scene.

Ambroise, in a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria, was parked on the right shoulder of the northbound toll road just north of the Okeechobee Road interchange at 8:39 p.m. when his vehicle was struck from hehind by a 1995 Lexus, according to FHP investigators.

The driver of the Lexus, Jonathan Robert Garcia, 19, of Miramar, veered from the northbound travel lane and struck the rear of the officer's car.

Garcia was taken by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, according to FHP officers.

Traffic on the Turnpike was diverted in both directions for more than an hour while officers investigated rhe crash and then cleared the scene.

Ambroise began his FHP career after graduating with the 111th recruit class in Tallahassee on January 12, 2006. He was assigned to Troop K in Miami.

Among survivors are his wife Roberta, and two daughters, ages 5 and 3 months.

The crash remains under investigation.


 


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