5 children hospitalized after golf cart collides with car

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Five children were taken to the hospital, two of them with serious injuries, after, officials said, the golf cart they were riding on collided with a car in Southwest Miami-Dade, Monday afternoon.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Police responded to the scene of the accident near Southwest 170th Street and 79th Place in the Palmetto Bay neighborhood.

According to investigators, the golf cart went through a stop sign and was hit by a gray Dodge Caliber heading north on Southwest 79th Place. “The golf cart was struck and did flip over. The occupants were ejected,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard.

The victims were between the ages of 3 and 16. Area resident Leo Tio said he saw the toddler who was injured in the crash. “He had a little bloody nose, but he kept saying, ‘I’m OK, I’m OK,” he said.

Two of the other golf cart passengers, a 12-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, were transported to area hospitals as trauma alerts.

The 12-year-old, identified as Southwood Middle School student Devon Benarr, was the most seriously injured. “I was watering my plants, and I hear the ambulance,” said Patricia Pagan, Benarr’s grandmother. “Little did I know what the ambulance was for. We’re devastated, and the little kids, too,” she said.

Benarr was taken to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. “They don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Pagan. “His brain is swollen and bleeding on the brain.”

Pagan said her grandson’s family was by his side at the hospital. His two sisters were also among the injured. They were treated and released.

Pagan said the 16-year-old, identified as Sabrina Acuna, was driving the golf cart. “She didn’t look right, and she started going [through the intersection], and then the car was coming and tipped them over,” she said.

Acuna was taken to Jackson South Community Hospital in critical condition. However, her mother told 7News she was doing better, Monday night.

Benarr’s grandmother said her grandchildren and the other neighborhood children ride around the Palmetto Bay neighborhood in golf carts frequently. “Oh, my God. Just by chance my kid could have easily been involved in the accident,” said Tio.

The driver of the Dodge, identified as Nancy Gonzalez, was driving north when she ran into the front of the golf cart, according to investigators. “The driver of the Dodge did not have a stop sign,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard. “The golf cart had the stop sign and failed to yield the right of way to the Dodge.”

Gonzalez sustained bruises from her car’s airbags, according to her family, and was treated at the scene. She was cooperative with police and was not cited.

The crash remains under investigation.

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