SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - An investigation is underway after an overnight crash claimed two lives along the Turnpike in Southwest Miami-Dade.
The crash, which officials said involved a wrong-way driver, happened just before 4 a.m., Friday, along the northbound lanes of the Turnpike, near Southwest 216th Street.
Two people have been confirmed dead and one injured.
Fire rescue crews could be seen loading one person onto an ambulance after extricating them from one of the vehicles. Their condition remains unknown.
7News spoke with a couple who said they were headed to pick up their son when they saw a car driving south along the northbound lanes of the Turnpike. “Boom! Like an explosion – car coming the wrong direction,” said Charles Williams.
Williams said he was able to swerve around the debris that went flying and escaped the deadly collision. “We was riding in the midst of it, and I thank God that we moved out of the way, you know,” he said. “We got a little front-end damage and stuff like that, and that was it.”
According to Florida Highway Patrol, the crash involved two vehicles and a Homestead Police prisoner transport van.
“The van was able to get out of the way, and they side-swiped, but that vehicle that continued southbound struck the northbound vehicle head on,” said FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez. “Both of those drivers have been pronounced deceased. One was pronounced deceased here at the scene, the other one at the hospital.”
Charles and his wife, Latrice, said they were following behind that transport van and noticed the driver swerve, so they did the same.
“I saw when the van tried to move over, and then after that I saw when it hit the black car, and the black car spun around and hit the rail,” said Latrice, “and I told my husband, ‘I know someone in that car – I know they are deceased. I know they are.’ It was just scary.”
The wrong-way driver’s car was too badly damaged for crews to remove the body before towing the car away.
Miami-Dade Police along with FHP are investigating.
“We are determining – through the tolls and basically witnesses and maybe cameras – to determine where this driver got on the Turnpike traveling southbound in the northbound lanes,” said Sanchez.
The northbound lanes of the Turnpike in the area have reopened after being shut down for about six hours.
FHP will not release the names of the drivers until their families have been notified.
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