SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A 3-year-old boy has died after, authorities said, a car crashed into a Valentine’s Day vendor’s stand in South Miami-Dade, pinning him underneath the vehicle.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Police and Florida Highway Patrol units responded to the incident in the area of South Dixie Highway and Southwest 304th Street, at around 1:15 p.m., Friday.
7News cameras captured a dark gray Dodge Charger with some damage near a chain-link fence, with yellow police tape blocking off the area.
“Oh, it was terrible. It was terrible,” said a witness.
According to FHP investigators, the Charger was traveling north on U.S. 1 when the driver lost control and veered off the roadway.
Officials said the vehicle plowed through the fence before coming to a complete stop.
MDFR officials said the call came in as an accident involving a child between 3 and 5 years old.
“Everybody was screaming, saying, ‘There’s a kid under the car! There’s a kid under the car!'” said witness Jose Correa.
At the time, investigators said, the boy was standing underneath the tent that had been set up for the vendor selling Valentine’s Day gifts near a KFC restaurant and a Dodge dealership.
Witness Shelly Hart said she saw the Charger in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
“I turned and looked and saw the car past the tents, and I said, ‘Wait, that’s not right. That wasn’t there a minute ago. I was just there,'” she said, “and that’s when I got out of my car and ran to the sidewalk to see if anybody was OK.”
Speaking to 7News over the phone, witness Chris Werner said he did not see the crash but rushed to an off-duty police officer who happened to be nearby.
“Later on, I bumped into an off-duty Homestead Police officer, and he told me that a little boy had just gotten run over,” he said.
“Your heart just starts to go crazy thinking about, ‘My God, there’s a child under there,” said Hart.
“It was just bad, and we just tried to push him out,” said Correa.
“I didn’t see anybody run from the scene. I didn’t see any other vehicles. Again, I wasn’t looking for those types of things, but that’s basically what I saw,” said Hart. “Everybody ran to their aid. Maybe tens of people ran to the aid of the victim.”
Correa, who works at a nearby auto repair shop, said he ran over with a jack when he heard the crash.
“We just run over there, and at first we’re looking, and then we see all the blood,” he said. “We couldn’t see the kid ’cause he car was pretty low, so we lifted it. That’s when we saw the kid, That’s when we pulled him out, you know?”
Officials said the boy was airlifted to the emergency room at Kendall Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
Just before 5 p.m., FHP detectives confirmed the toddler had succumbed to his injuries.
The child has since been identified as Anthony De Leon.
Cellphone video captured Miami-Dade Police cruisers and loved ones consoling each other at the scene.
7News has learned that the driver of the Charger was leaving the dealership before the crash happened.
Officials said the motorist stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. The motorist was later identified as 42-year-old Hanskabell Amargos.
The Charger was later towed from the scene as evidence.
Authorities temporarily shut down northbound lanes of U.S. 1 while they investigated. They have since reopened to traffic.
Friday night, 7News cameras showed a toppled stop sign and the mangled chain-link fence at the scene.
Charges against Amargos are pending, as police continue to investigate.
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