HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - The rider of an all-terrain vehicle was killed and another person was injured after, officials said, the rider crashed along the Palmetto Expressway, in Hialeah, Sunday afternoon.
Investigators said the 20-year-old man who died on the scene was likely performing stunts when he lost control of his four-wheeler while on the Palmetto. It’s the type of accident that police are trying to prevent as the long weekend comes to a close.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the accident, near the Northwest 103rd Street exit, Sunday, just before 3:30 p.m.
According to investigators, a group of ATVs were riding southbound on the highway when 20-year-old Ramon Jose Hernandez-Acevedo lost control of the ATV and was thrown from it. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“He died. I know he died. I saw him,” said witness Loly Feberryes as she held back tears.
Officials said another person sustained injuries.
Troopers shut down three southbound lanes of the highway near the Northwest 103rd Street exit while they investigated, backing up traffic for miles.
Cellphone video captured between 20 and 25 ATV riders at the scene, but FHP did not specify whether or not they were part of the unofficial Martin Luther King Jr. weekend rally “Wheels Up, Guns Down.” Hundreds of four-wheeler, dirt bike and motorcycle riders from around the country are expected to criss-cross roads across South Florida for the annual holiday ride, Monday.
Troopers were seen taking witnesses in handcuffs to be questioned, but officials said they did not make any arrests.
This wasn’t the only crash involving ATVs that took place in South Florida on Sunday. Officials said one ATV was involved in an accident on South 28th Avenue and Washington Street in Hollywood, Sunday evening.
Police confiscated four ATVs and two dirt bikes at the scene. A white sedan was also towed from the scene, but investigators did not provide further details about this crash.
Late Saturday night, 7News cameras captured several ATV riders along State Road 7. “I saw like 100 bikes yesterday,” said Jose Rodriguez, who is taking part in this year’s “Wheels Up, Guns Down.”
Rodriguez stopped by the scene of the accident on the Palmetto when he found out about the deadly wreck. “To be honest, it just makes you be more conscious that, whenever you ride your four-wheeler and you’re riding like that, you’ve got to have a helmet on,” he said.
Officials said Sunday’s accidents serve as a reminder that ATVs, which are illegal on Florida’s paved roads and highways, are not safe and can lead to tragic outcomes.
In a news conference, Thursday, FHP officials and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel issued a stern warning to ATV riders. They said they intend to strictly enforce the law to anyone seen riding ATVs on Monday.
“[Violators face] potentially being arrested, having their vehicle towed, even greater, being critically injured, injuring somebody else, or even losing your life,” said a FHP spokesperson.
It’s a lesson that is being learned on the road over the holiday weekend. “It’s a shame, ’cause the kid was young. He was a young kid and he lost his life,” said Rodriguez.
Police said Hernandez-Acevedo was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear at the time of the incident.
The accidents remain under investigation.
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