SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A driver has died after a car crashed into a restaurant in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade Police units responded to the scene of the crash outside of Duffy’s Tavern Sports Grill along the 2100 block of Southwest 57th Avenue, Saturday morning.
Cellphone video showed the aftermath of the crash, as first responders surrounded the black Corvette that had crashed into the wall of the restaurant.
A witness said he heard the impact.
“All I heard was a skidding that just kept going and going, and then a bang,” he said. “That thing was really, really, really loud.”
According to investigators, the driver of the Corvette crashed into a van along the street, and then careened into Duffy’s Tavern.
Witness Jose Richard Martinez said he saw the speeding sports car slam into the side wall of the popular dive bar.
“The car is a total mess. It was this guy pinched inside the car,” he said.
As he started to run toward the vehicle, Martinez said, it exploded.
“[I was] throwing the fire extinguisher into the car,” he said.
As police and rescue crews arrived, Martinez said, he spotted the van down the street.
“It was another car. I think, I believe it’s a white van, upside down,” he said.
The driver of the Corvette was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the van was able to exit out of the vehicle and was taken to an area hospital. He is expected to be OK.
Wayne Russell, the owner of Duffy’s Tavern, said the Corvette crashed into the back office, and he just happened to walk away from his desk and into the bar to replenish the tills when it happened.
“I realized where it was, and then I turned around and looked at the office, where I’d just been. It came in through the office,” he said.
Russell said it was a near-death experience.
“Sitting there, I would have been crushed. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
Hours later, 7News cameras captured debris, caution tape and glass left behind in front of Duffy’s Tavern.
Russell said they’ve since been able to patch up the hole caused by the crash.
Russell’s wife said several speeding incidents have happened along Southwest 57th Avenue near the restaurant, three really dangerous ones in the last couple of weeks.
On Aug. 1, a black sedan overturned and came to rest uncomfortably close to the tavern’s storefront.
As for Russell, he considers himself very fortunate after being seconds away from the Corvette’s path.
“You see the angels behind my desk, so somebody was watching over me,” he said.
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