WEST PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - A 20-year-old woman has died after, police said, a chain-reaction crash sent her car into a building in West Park.
The vehicle crashed into the Purple Palace barbershop, located at 5600 Pembroke Road, Friday morning.
Investigators said a black Dodge Charger failed to stop at a flashing red light, and before deputies could conduct a traffic stop, the driver took off, hitting the victim’s vehicle, which then crashed into the business.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies as well as Hollywood Police responded to the scene.
“The officers were in the area fast enough and rendered aid to everyone involved,” said Hollywood Police Officer Christian Lata. “Unfortunately, one person was deceased.”
The father of the victim, Greg Hemmings, addressed the tragedy hours later.
“They’re coming straight, and they get their green light to go. That guy’s flying in from that direction coming down. It’s like a T-bone accident.”
Hemmings identified the victim as Brittania Hemmings.
“People lose them life. Now my daughter, my second daughter,” said Hemmings.
Hemmings said his daughter was on her way home from work with a friend.
“That’s her friend. They was playing a song, smiling, daughter died smiling,” he said.
Hemmings stood at the scene with his daughter’s accolades in hand, including her high school diploma. He said her dreams of joining the U.S. Air Force were cut short after being an active Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps member in high school.
“Every day she would say, ‘Daddy, I want to go in the Army,” he said.
7SkyForce hovered over the scene where a big hole could be seen in the wall of the building. The hole has since been boarded up.
The barbershop’s owner, Darwin Harris, said the fatal turn of events left him shaken.
“Someone running from the police and then ran into her, who had nothing to do with the situation. It’s just horrendous to see it,” he said. “I know all this can be repaired, I have insurance. You know, it’s pretty bad what’s going on around the building, but just to see what happened to life. I can only imagine how their parents’ gonna feel this morning.”
Harris later met with Hemmings.
The grieving father said police need to do their job, but there has to be a better way.
“Officers need to come with a better solution than this, because I always watch it on the news. Now I really feel the pain,” he said. “The world of my family is really devastated right now.”
Both eastbound and westbound lanes of Pembroke Road were shut down between 52nd and 57th avenues but have since reopened.
The driver at fault was arrested. He was later identified as Connor Tyson.
Tyson has been charged with driving with a suspended license. He was also issued a citation for running a flashing traffic signal.
Tyson remains at the Broward County Jail. Police said he could face additional charges.
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