OCALA, Fla. — After 17 days in the hospital, the Ocala police officer who was injured during the pursuit of a hit & run driver late last month is headed home.
Ocala police officers were already investigating a crash at the intersection of S. Pine Ave. and SW 17th just before 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 26 when 44-year-old Kristopher Kent Winningham sped through the intersection, colliding with a pedestrian and a parked patrol car.
The pedestrian, identified as 26-year-old James Thompson, Jr., was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries.
Police pursued Winningham along SE Maricamp Rd. towards the First Baptist Church of Ocala where Ocala Police Sergeant Ron Malone was parked in the grass median, preparing to deploy stop-sticks.
According to police, in an apparently intentional act, Winningham then collided head-on with Sgt. Malone’s patrol car at more than 90 miles-per-hour as Malone still sat in it.
Sgt. Malone was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Winningham was also taken to the hospital and later died.
“We’re relieved to see Sgt. Ron Malone leave the hospital today after his 17-day stay and take his next steps in the healing process,” a statement from the police department said of Malone’s recovery. “His journey to recovery continues, and his strength throughout this challenging time is truly remarkable.”
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