Off-duty TPD officer killed in motorcycle crash

- A Tampa police officer died in a motorcycle accident Saturday. 

The Tampa Police Department confirmed Officer Howard Gimbel died in the crash.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene, where an SUV hit Gimbel's Honda Goldwing at the intersection of Big Bend Road and Clement Pride Blvd. Gimbel's wife, Tonya was on the back of his bike. She was injured, but said to be stable Saturday evening.

HCSO said its initial investigation showed the driver of a Cadillac SUV, 46-year-old Lisa Allen stopped at the intersection to wait for traffic to clear. When she entered the intersection, she didn't see the Gimbels' motorcycle coming and ran into it. 

The bike went off the road, throwing the couple. Tonya Gimbel was taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries. 

Allen was not injured. HCSO said she provided a voluntary blood sample, but there was no indication alcohol or drugs were a factor. Investigators said charges were pending.

Meanwhile, TPD said in a release to the media, Officer Gimbel has been with TPD for 20 years and served on the department's motorcycle unit. He was 52-years-old.

"This is a tragic day for our Department and for our City; everyone is feeling the loss," said TPD Chief Eric Ward. "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."

There is now a GoFundMe page where those who wish to help the Gimbel's daughter Sarah with college expenses can do so by donating online.  Click here to help: GoFundMe.com/inhowardshonor

Gimbel was honored in 2014 as Officer of the Month and by the Tampa Bay Lightning in its "Boldest of the Bay" series.

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