SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Three people are in the hospital after a police chase ended with a car bursting into flames when it crashed in Palmetto Bay, early Monday morning.
The northbound lanes of U.S. 1, from Southwest 168th to 184th Street, were shut down until 10 a.m., causing heavy delays during the morning commute.
According to authorities, at around 3:30 a.m., a car caught fire after it lost control at the intersection of US 1 and Hibiscus Street and crashed into a traffic signal poll. The impact was so powerful, the light was left dangling.
Surveillance cameras from a nearby car dealership captured the flames and smoke. “You see a big, humongous smoke, a little bit of glare of the fire,” said Martin Roda. “It’s some debris from the accident in the lot.”
It all started as a traffic stop, when the tags on a vehicle came back as stolen. Police said the vehicle was involved in an armed robbery and carjacking in Miami Gardens.
As officers approached the vehicle, the driver took off and a chase ensued. However, the chase was called off.
Upon arrival to the crash fiery scene, police discovered it was the same car they had been pursuing.
An officer had to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene shortly after. The driver was trapped inside and had to be extricated from the vehicle.
Police said there were three passengers in the car at the time of the crash. They identified the driver as 18-year-old Patrick Llanos, a convicted felon, and one of the passengers as 18-year-old Samuel Jackson. The third passenger was a minor.
Llanos and the two passengers were transported to Jackson South Hospital in unknown condition.
“I feel sorry for them, I really do,” said Hilda Marrero, “because, I mean, my girls are 34 and 33, and I even told them when they were young, ‘If I see you one day in jail, you’re gonna stay in there. Don’t call me. You’re gonna serve whatever time they ask you.’ You have to be a little strict in today’s day. It’s too crazy. Too many things happening.”
Llanos will face charges for grand theft auto and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The other two will face a trespassing charge.
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