NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Back-to-back crashes along the Palmetto Expressway, Thursday, resulted in a death and caused major traffic delays, Thursday morning.
The multi-vehicle crash began with a hit-and-run crash, near Northwest 74th Street on SR 826 going southbound. When firefighters arrived, just after 2 a.m., officials used a fire truck to block the road while beginning to assess the situation.
During that time, another driver rammed into the back of the fire truck. That driver was first reported to be in serious condition but later died as a result of their injuries.
The victim of the hit-and-run was airlifted as a trauma alert to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Ernie Jillson said the fire truck may have saved the lives of the firefighters.
“The vehicle is actually blocking traffic for us as we were rendering aid, and that’s when the vehicle struck.” said Jillson. “If the vehicle wasn’t in the position that it was in — blocking the traffic for the oncoming — we could’ve had some fatalities out here with the firefighters.”
7News spoke to commuter Shawn Pluta, who said he’s been delayed on his morning commute. “Been a half-hour already,” said Pluta. “It’s horrible. It’s horrible, man. It’s going to take me forever to get to work.”
“Too long, too long,” said another driver named Carlos when asked how long he’s been waiting. “I was supposed to be at work at 6 o’clock. I’m gonna be, like, 45 minutes late, man.”
The Palmetto Expressway southbound near Northwest 74th Street shut down as a result of the crashes but reopened at 6:52 a.m.
The identities of those involved in the crashes have yet to be released.
Both investigations, including the death investigation, remain ongoing by Florida Highway Patrol.
Officials also continue their search for the second driver involved in the hit-and-run collision.
If you have any information on the hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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