TAMPA (FOX 13) - A motorcade of 14 Tampa police motorcycle officers made their way down Swann Avenue Sunday afternoon, one short of the department's full unit.
On May 7, Howard Gimbel, a 20-year veteran of the department was thrown off his motorcycle. Gimbel's wife Tonya was on the back of his bike. She was injured, but was able to attend the funeral service for her husband.
Tonya Gimbel was transported from Tampa General Hospital to Congregation Schaarai Zedek Sunday afternoon as her husband was laid to rest.
"We stepped out for a bite to eat and we never came home," said Tonya.
HCSO said its initial investigation showed the driver of a Cadillac SUV, 46-year-old Lisa Allen stopped at the intersection of Big Bend Road and Clement Pride Boulevard to wait for traffic to clear. When she entered the intersection, she didn't see the Gimbels' motorcycle coming and ran into it.
Howard Gimbel, who was off duty at the time, was killed. In an instant, the Gimbel family had changed forever.
"We were so happy and we were about to send our daughter off to college and we were going to have some fun, live our life...and then it was over," said Tonya.
Officer Gimbel leaves behind wife Tonya and daughter Sarah. Next week, Sarah will graduate from Riverview High School. Instead of retiring at his 20-year mark with TPD, Howard Gimbel planned to stay on with the force in order to put his daughter through college at USF.
A GoFundMe page has been created for those who wish to help Sarah Gimbel with college expenses. Click here to donate: GoFundMe.com/inhowardshonor.