A car hit a procession at the funeral of one of the victims of the deadly Orlando shooting on Saturday, leaving two police officers hospitalized.
The spokesperson for Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Kim Montes has revealed that the car accident took place at about 11:30 a.m. in Kissimmee, Florida, AFP reported. According to Montes, the driver appears to have been impatient and attempted to cut through the procession, but her car struck two officers on motorcycles.
The driver, who has been identified as Ivonne Robles Morales, allegedly thought that someone beckoned her to cut the procession before she moved her car.
Florida Highway Patrol has revealed that the car accident took place at the crossroad of Donegan and Central avenues, WFTV reported. Morales’ Honda Sedan car is reported to have hit one of the police officers on the motorcycle directly, while the second officer came crashing into the back area of the left part of her car. The officers were escorting the mourners in the procession when the car crash occurred.
Both officers, who are from Osceola County, have not been identified. They were rushed to the hospital after the car accident. The police have not released any information about the nature of their injuries.
Photos of the site of the car crash released by the Osceola Sheriff shows the hood of Morales’ car severely mangled with the two police motorcycles lying about.
Both deputies are in stable condition recovering at the hospital. Here are photos from the incident... pic.twitter.com/6lvSsD4CAZ— Osceola Sheriff (@OsceolaSheriff) June 19, 2016
According to the Daily Mail, one of the officers was in a serious condition, but they are said to both be stable. On Sunday, the Osceola Sheriff revealed on Twitter that both officers were scheduled to undergo surgery.
As an update, both deputies are still in the hospital and both are having surgery this morning to repair fractures.— Osceola Sheriff (@OsceolaSheriff) June 19, 2016
Montes told ABC News that although the driver of the car involved in the crash did not sustain any injuries, she requested to be taken to the hospital for a check-up. Morales received a ticket for attempting to cross the procession with her car, AFP reported. She has also been arraigned to answer charges related to the car accident in court.
According to the Daily Mail, the procession that Morales’ car struck was escorting the body of Jean Carlos Mendez Perez from the church to the gravesite. Perez had reportedly received a joint service in a church with his partner Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, who was also killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last week Sunday. Leon’s body was transported to Puerto Rico for burial after the church service.
There have been several funerals in Florida and Puerto Rico this weekend for the 49 victims of the attack, which has been described as the worst mass shooting incident in the history of the U.S. Despite the tension building up to the funerals as homophobic protesters vowed to stage demonstrations, Montes downplayed any malicious intent in the car crash at Perez’s funeral procession. She maintained that the car accident was unintentional.
Meanwhile, hundreds of counter-protesters wearing large wings like angels have gathered to prevent homophobic demonstrators from the Westboro Baptist Church from disrupting the funerals of victims of the Orlando shooting, Independent reported. The Kansas-based church infuriated many people last week after announcing its plans to protest at the funerals and claiming that God sent the shooter Omar Mateen.
The car accident in Kissimmee is the only incident of its kind that has been reported during the funeral procession of victims of the Orlando shooting. It is unclear when the driver of the car involved in the accident would appear in court to hear the charges against her.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]