Family: Prognosis unclear for veteran Pembroke Pines officer injured in motorcycle crash

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A Pembroke Pines Police motorcycle officer continues fighting for his life in the hospital days after a crash left him trapped underneath a vehicle.

Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. John Baker, a 25-year veteran and occasional spokesperson with the department, underwent surgery at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. As of Monday, he is listed in critical condition.

Police said Baker was on patrol with the traffic unit when his motorcycle crashed with a car near Sheridan Street and 146th Street, at around 7 a.m., Saturday.

Monday afternoon, Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Al Xiques said the law enforcer was not at fault.

“We have learned since the crash that Officer Baker did have the right of way in his involvement in the crash,” he said.

Meanwhile, the officer’s family expressed their gratitude over the outpouring of support from the law enforcement community.

Holding hands outside of the hospital, Baker’s daughters, Tabitha and Jessica Baker, said they’re unsure about their father’s prognosis.

“It’s still very early. We don’t — because it is so early, we’re just waiting,” said Tabitha.

“He suffered significant trauma in the crash, and his recovery is going to be long, but we’re very hopeful,” said Xiques

Witnesses at the scene said responding officers began CPR when they arrived.

“I saw a motorcycle down. You could see the motorcycle down, and you could see the guys trying to pull the guy from under the car,” said witness Julie Sanchez. “You knew it had to be bad, because someone was underneath a car, and you could see there was like about 100 feet that he’d been dragged, so it’s terrible.”

When asked how he felt about Baker’s involvement in the crash, Pembroke Pines Officer Christopher Komp replied, “Devastated, definitely. It’s shocking to be somebody that’s this close to us … He’s been nothing but an exemplary officer and sergeant and leader.”

“If there were an all-star team in law enforcement, Sgt. Baker would most definitely be on it, likely the captain,” said Xiques. “He is one of the kindest, most caring, genuinely jolly people you’ll ever want to meet.”

Now by his bedside, Baker’s family asked for the community’s prayers.

“He’s the most amazing person that I know. We’re really lucky to have him,” said Tabitha, “and honestly, I use him as a standard for a good person. Anything I do in life, he’s always there for us, and we just want to be there for him now. He’s still here with us, and that’s big. Helping people is where he wanted to be.”

The other driver in Saturday’s crash was not hurt.

Because this was an officer-involved crash, Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating.

When asked whether the other driver involved will face charges, Xiques replied that this was just a horrific accident.

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