Florida Officer Hits Two Pedestrians Lying on Road Watching Lunar Eclipse: Reports

January 22, 2019 Updated: January 22, 2019

A police officer in Florida reportedly hit two pedestrians who were lying face-up on a dark road and were apparently watching the lunar eclipse.

The West Palm Beach Police Department said the officer is now on paid administrative leave after the Jan. 20 incident that took place at around 11:30 p.m., WPTV reported.

Police said the two people live nearby, and officials believe the pair was in a nearby park because they were watching the “super blood moon” eclipse.

The first full moon of 2019 rises off the shore of Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales, Britain on January 20, 2019. (Rebecca Naden/Reuters)

Because the park was “extremely dark” at the time, officials think the two were watching the eclipse, reported The Associated Press.

The officer was patrolling Apoxee Wilderness Trail at 3125 North Jog Road.

According to police, the officer’s vehicle was traveling at around 5 mph.

The Moon over Victoria Alada
The moon is seen over “Victoria Alada” statue on the top of Metropoli building during a total lunar eclipse, known as the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 21, 2019. (Sergio Perez/Reuters)

The two pedestrians were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries. The case is still under investigation.

Police said the man and the woman were both 24 years old, and their names were not released, reported AP.

Skywatchers Gather Around World

Skywatchers howled at the moon at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles when the full lunar eclipse appeared shortly after 9 p.m. Pacific time on Jan. 20, and our celestial neighbor was bathed reddish-orange during the Super Blood Wolf Moon.

“Amazing. As you can see, it’s a party atmosphere and everyone is just enjoying the spectacle,” said Rosalind Von Wendt from Los Angeles.

More than 1,500 people gathered at the observatory near the city’s famous Hollywood sign to watch the eclipse.

However, not everyone got to watch the cosmic show, with lunar eclipse parties canceled elsewhere due to a flash freeze across the central and northeastern United States. Icy roadways rather than cloudy skies were blamed by astronomers for spoiling the festivities.

In Los Angeles, where the weather was markedly warmer and skies cleared just in time, skywatchers were treated to a full spectacle of the Earth casting its shadow over the moon’s face.

A blood red moon lights up the sky during a total lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

“Oh it was fantastic, it was great,” said Brad Mortensen, from Philadelphia. “This was a great location. The observatory is always fun to visit so tonight when we heard about this we decided to come up.”

Astronomy buffs were urged to watch the eclipse live-streamed online at sites such as AstronomersWithoutBorders.org.

It seemed days earlier that cloudy skies would be the biggest threat to the cosmic fun, but it turned out a wet, wide-ranging snowstorm followed by a deep freeze on Sunday made driving and outdoor activities hazardous in many areas.

Join Us! AWB will have a live webcast of the January 20th total lunar eclipse with co-hosts Andrew Fazekas The Night Sky…

Astronomers Without Borders 发布于 2019年1月18日周五

Eclipse parties were canceled from Indiana’s Lemon Lake County Park to New Jersey’s Rowan University.

“It’s not the snow or cloudy skies but, rather, the extreme cold and what we fear may be hazardous travel conditions,” said Pennsylvania’s Carbon County Environmental Center, which scrapped its party in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, 54 miles northwest of Allentown.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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