Officer is released from hospital
Patrolman was seriously injured in one of two Aug. 26 crashes, which involved two deaths.
Ocala Police Department photo from the night of Aug. 26, 2023, at one of two crash scenes.
The Ocala Police Department sergeant injured Aug. 26 when a driver reportedly fleeing from a fatal crash rammed his parked police vehicle head-on at 90 mph in southwest Ocala was discharged Tuesday from a local hospital following a 17-day stay.
OPD Sgt. Ronald Malone is seen in a video on the OPD Facebook page leaving the hospital in a wheelchair to cheers and applause from a group of uniformed law enforcement officers and hospital staff members.
“(Malone’s) journey to recovery continues and his strength throughout this challenging time is truly remarkable,” a post on the social media page states.
OPD officials were working a crash scene on South Pine Avenue when a vehicle driven by Kristopher Kent Winningham “sped through” and struck a police car and fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a prior “Gazette” report.
Malone was stopped in the median in the 3000 block of Southeast 17th Street at Pine Avenue preparing to set stop sticks to halt Winningham. Winningham’s vehicle struck Malone’s cruiser. An OPD official stated the crash “appeared to be intentional” with Winningham’s car traveling at speeds “in excess of” 90 mph.
Winningham,44, died in the collision. The deceased pedestrian was identified as James Thompson Jr., 26.
Malone, a patrol sergeant assigned to OPD’s Community Policing Bureau, was taken to the intensive care unit of the hospital.
The Facebook post thanked Malone’s supporters for their thoughts and prayers and requested the support continue for him and his family as his recovery continues.