Tampa PD officer killed in off-duty crash

Master Officer Howard Gimbe

RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Police Department officer was killed Saturday evening in a traffic accident.

Master Officer Howard Gimbel was riding his motorcycle with his wife, Tonya Gimbel, as a passenger when they were struck by a Cadillac SUV on Big Bend Road at the Clement Pride Blvd intersection in Riverview.

The impact forced Gimbel’s motorcycle off the road, and both he and his wife were ejected when the bike struck a road sign.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office identified the driver of the SUV as Lisa Denise Allen, 46, of Riverview.

Officer Gimbel, a 20-year TPD veteran, was later pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Gimbel’s wife is in stable condition.

The Tampa Police Department released the following statement about Officer Gimbel, who served on the department’s motorcycle unit and was 53 years old.

“This is a tragic day for our Department and for our City; everyone is feeling the loss,” said TPD Chief Eric Ward, who rushed to the hospital upon learning of the traffic crash. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gimbel family. I want them to know they will always be a part of the Tampa Police Department family.”

Chief Ward thanked the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their sensitive handling of the tragedy.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash. Allen volunteered a blood sample for analysis, but investigators do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.


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