NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family is demanding justice a day after, authorities said, a man and his adult son were struck and killed on the side of the Dolphin Expressway by a driver who fled from the scene in an SUV that belonged to one of the victims.
The mangled vehicles involved in the crash sat behind a chain-link fence at the Florida Highway Patrol headquarters in Northwest Miami-Dade, Saturday evening.
The vehicles are a stark reminder of the violent crash that transpired along State Road 836 in West Miami-Dade the previous day.
7Skyforce captured the aftermath of the crash in the grassy shoulder of the highway, Friday morning.
“We never expected this to happen,” said family member Josephine Sandelis-Cepeda.
According to FHP investigators, 34-year-old Cesar Cepeda was heading east along State Road 836 in a Chevy Silverado from the northbound lanes of the Florida Turnpike when he hit a guardrail and ended up in the shoulder.
Officials said the younger victim called his father, 57-year-old Jose Cepeda Luna, for help. At around 5 a.m., as both men stood in the shoulder, they were struck by a black Chevy Camaro and killed instantly.
Detectives said the person behind the wheel and whoever else was in the Camaro took off in Cepeda Luna’s Chevy Equinox and sped away.
“He died protecting his son,” Sandelis-Cepeda as she broke down in tears while speaking with 7News on Saturday. “My father-in-law loved his children, and so did my brother-in-law, and you left them there.”
The Equinox was later found abandoned in a field in Homestead.
Loved ones shared photos of both men with 7News. They said they were both loved by their wives and children.
“These two widows are totally devastated,” said Al Cruz, a close family friend. “They did not eat. They did not sleep last night.”
“My father-in-law died loving his son, and my brother-in-law called his father, because our family is strongest in the unity of love,” said Sandelis-Cepeda, “and he called his father to protect him, to look after him, and that’s what a father does.”
Sandelis-Cepeda had a message for the driver of the Camaro. “I forgive you, Just turn yourself in and bring our family peace during this time,” she said. “Let justice be served. It’s not my job to judge you; He does, but you fled. These men are honorable men, kings in our family, the sweetest, the most loving men, the men who worked 15 hours a day so we could have a roof over our head.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for help pay for Cepeda and Cepeda Luna’s funerals. If you would like to make a donation, click here.
If you have any information on this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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