(Image: Florida Highway Patrol via WKMG)

A police car in pursuit of armed robbery suspects screamed through a red light last week, obliterating an unsuspecting driver. There’s a reason why this is isn’t allowed, even for cops.

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Traffic camera footage released by the Florida Highway Patrol shows what can happen when a police officer gets tunnel vision in pursuit. This wreck took place Thursday, May 12th at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and Holden Avenue in Ocoee, Florida.

The Dodge Charger cop car ended up just as mangled as the blue Toyota Corolla it hit, but both Ocoee Officer Chris Bonner and civilian Yahaira Montalvo survived. The suspects Officer Bonner was pursuing escaped.

(Image: WKMG screengrab)

WKMG reports that local law enforcement’s “pursuit policy” requires coming to a complete stop at red lights, and that Bonner has been issued a $164 ticket with four points put on his license for failing to do so. The OPD told local news that Bonner is still in the hospital recovering with “serious but non-life threatening injuries” from the incident.

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Montalvo was injured as well, and has employed legal counsel.

Coming to a complete stop at lights seems impractical in a pursuit situation, but slamming into perpendicular traffic clearly doesn’t pan out well either. I’m guessing that while many departments may have a “you must stop at lights” rule on the books, first responders are trusted to use their own judgement as to how to proceed most efficiently and safely.

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WFTV reports that this pursuit down Orange Blossom Trail reached 90 MPH, and indeed that Charger sure looks like it’s hauling ass in the traffic camera clip.

Hat tip to George!