MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews took the driver of an American Airlines van to the hospital after, police said, he drove off the parking garage at Miami International Airport, Friday morning.
7Skyforce hovered above the scene showing the overturned vehicle on the pavement.
According to Miami-Dade Police, the veteran employee was driving a company vehicle when he crashed through the wall of the fourth floor and plummeted to the concrete below, just after 8:15 a.m.
The work van landed on the ground upside down.
Investigators said airport employees came running to render aid. “They heard the incident, they heard the impact and immediately ran over to the person and assisted in taking him out of the vehicle,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Argemis Colome.
First responders arrived shortly after. “On arrival, our units found the vehicle on the ground,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Kirston Miller. “The patient was able to remove himself from the vehicle.”
The driver was later identified as 59-year-old Orlando Luna. A 7News viewer sent in a photo taken after the survivor had managed to crawl from the crushed vehicle.
Luna was transported to Ryder Trauma Center, but only as a precaution. According to American Airlines, he only suffered minor injuries.
“Considering the fall, he was in very good condition,” said Miller.
Another look at the scene suggests a thin palm tree likely helped break the van’s fall. Police said the driver was buckled up at the time of the crash.
“The best thing that we know right now is he was wearing his seat belt, and that could be why he’s still here with us today,” said Colome.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said the driver was the only person inside the van. No other injuries were reported.
American Airlines released a statement that read:
“At approximately 8:19 a.m., an American Airlines team member was involved in a motor vehicle accident at Miami International Airport. Our colleague sustained minor injuries, but out of an abundance of caution, was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. We appreciate the assistance of the Miami-Dade Police Department and the other first responders who quickly took care of our team member. The details of how this accident occurred is still under investigation.”
The van has since been towed.
By noon, the scene had been cleared. Crews patched up the hole in the parking garage wall, and there was no interruption to the flow of travel at MIA.
Colome said they will attempt to retrieve any security video to help in their investigation. “Obviously, if there are any surveillance cameras in the parking garage, we are going to retrieve that and try to do a fluid investigation into this,” he said.
Luna’s family said it’s a miracle he survived the four-story fall. They said he remains in the hospital.
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