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Tampa police officer injured in crash with mail truck near I-4.

A Tampa police officer was injured in a crash with a semitrailer truck early Friday while driving to assist another officer at a traffic stop. He was hospitalized and released that morning.

Tampa Police Department

A Tampa police officer was injured in a crash with a semitrailer truck early Friday while driving to assist another officer at a traffic stop. He was hospitalized and released that morning.

TAMPA — A Tampa police officer collided with a U.S. Postal Service semitrailer truck near Interstate 4 early Friday while driving to assist another officer at a traffic stop.

The accident happened at 2:24 a.m. near the Interstate 4 westbound exit ramp at N 50th Street.

The officer, Craig Cimaszewski, was driving his patrol car in emergency mode northbound on N 50th Street when he collided with the semi, police said.

The truck, driven by George Stergion, 45, of Land O'Lakes, was turning south onto N 50th Street from the I-4 westbound exit ramp.

Police said Stergion failed to yield to the patrol car because a wall blocked the view of that intersection. He was not cited, though an investigation continues, police said.

Cimaszewski, a 16-year TPD veteran who began working in the canine unit last year, was taken to Tampa General Hospital with cuts and bruises and released a few hours later. His 2-year-old police dog, Lincoln, was taken to the TPD's veterinarian and was found to have no injuries.

Lincoln, who graduated from canine school last year, is trained in narcotics and apprehension, police said.

Cimaszewski was responding to officer Bradley Grange's request for back-up at a traffic stop at Melburne Boulevard and N 50th Street, just north of I-4. Police said the suspect had warrants out for his arrest and cocaine in his vehicle.

Police arrested the suspect, Vernarda Poinsettia, 50, of 7918 Endive Ave., on charges of resisting arrest with violence, cocaine possession and being a habitual traffic offender, among other traffic charges.

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Tampa police officer injured in crash with mail truck near I-4. 04/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 30, 2010 5:50pm]

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