Former Pirate Sean Rodriguez involved in fiery car accident

Joe Demeis, Staff Writer

Sean Rodriguez, former Pittsburgh Pirates utility infielder, and his family were involved in a deadly car crash on Saturday afternoon in Miami, Florida. Their car was T-boned by a stolen police car in West Miami around 1:45 p.m. The driver of the police cruiser sideswiped a Honda Civic before losing control and crashing into Rodriguez. He was driving his wife, Giselle, and their two sons, ages 2 and 8, in the family’s black Chevy Suburban.

Sean was unharmed after the accident, but his wife and kids were hospitalized. Giselle was treated at Kendall Regional Medical Center and was said to be in fair condition. Their two sons, however, were in serious condition at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Rodriguez’s wife sent out a tweet on Monday, “I’m in the hospital with a broken femur and tibia. I’m going into surgery for my wrist tomorrow. We are so grateful to be alive. And so thankful for your prayers, calls and flowers!”

The driver of the stolen vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as 28-year old Vincent Foreman. As soon as the cars collided, the police car burst into flames. According to WPLG Local 10 News, the suspect had been released from jail on Friday, a day before the crash. He served 180 days in prison for resisting arrest and two counts of petty theft. Originally, he was scheduled to be released from jail on May 10, but was let out early.

A police officer was responding to a call about a suspicious briefcase left behind by two customers at the Natural Chicken Grill restaurant on Southwest 16th Street and Southwest 107th Avenue that afternoon. Foreman was able to drive away in the officer’s police car when he was inside. The authorities didn’t say whether or not the police officer left the key in the ignition or if he will be disciplined. Miami-Dade Police Department policy says that all officers are required to remove the key from the ignition and lock the doors when leaving the vehicle.

The Atlanta Braves released the following statement after hearing about the terrifying accident:

“We are aware that Braves player Sean Rodriguez and his family were involved in a very serious car accident Saturday night in Miami, Fla. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the health and well-being of Sean’s family as they look to recover.”

The 31-year old Miami native signed a 2-year, $11.5 million contract with the Braves in the off-season. Rodriguez spent the past two years playing for the Pirates. He had the best season of his nine-year career this past season. According to NBC Sports, he slashed .270/.349/.510 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 342 plate appearances. The Braves plan to make Rodriguez their primary second baseman to start the upcoming season.