Tampa Police Officer Dies from Injuries in Traffic Crash
The officer and his wife were thrown from the motorcycle he was driving.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – An off-duty Tampa police officer died Saturday (May 7) from injuries he received when he was thrown from the motorcycle he was driving after it was struck by an SUV.
Howard D. Gimbel, 52, a 20-year Tampa Police Department veteran, died at St. Joseph’s South Hospital. Officer Gimbel served on the department’s motorcycle unit.
“This is a tragic day for our Department and for our city; everyone is feeling the loss,” Tampa police Chief Eric Ward said. Ward went to the hospital when he learned of the crash. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gimbel family. I want them to know they will always be a part of the Tampa Police Department family.”
Officer Gimbel’s wife, Tonya, 52, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was taken to Tampa General Hospital where she was listed in guarded condition late Saturday.
Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies, who were investigating the crash, said it happened about 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Clement Pride Boulevard and Big Bend Road. Lisa Denise Allen, 46, of Riverview, was driving a 2011 Cadillac SUV south on Clement Pride. Deputies said she stopped at the intersection of Big Bend to wait for traffic to pass. She entered the intersection but failed to see the 2006 Honda Goldwing motorcycle Officer Gimbel was driving east on Big Bend at about 45 mph.
The SUV hit the motorcycle, forcing it off the road where it hit a safety sign. Officer Gimbel and his wife were thrown from the vehicle, deputies said.
Deputies said there is no reason to believe drugs or alcohol played a part in the crash. Charges are pending, they said.
For information about the Tampa Police Department, go to tampagov.net.
For information about the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, go to hcso.tampa.fl.us.
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