PALMETTO BAY, Fla. (WSVN) — A traffic stop led to a crash in Palmetto Bay that left a man and a woman dead and sent three men to the hospital, police said.
Cellphone video captured the chaotic moments in the immediate aftermath of Thursday afternoon’s wreck.
Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue responded to the scene at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Southwest 152nd Street.
According to investigators, a white Lexus SUV carrying four men was traveling north on U.S. 1 when a police officer tried to stop them, just before 6 p.m.
Police said the driver of the Lexus refused to stop and sped away.
“The vehicle, at that point, decides to flee from the officers in a northbound direction of U.S. 1. The officers lose sight of the vehicle, and then the white Lexus, as it’s crossing the intersection, impacts a Chevy Trailblazer that’s traveling south [and was making] a left turn to go eastbound,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Alvaro Zabaleta, “and that’s when the white Lexus T-bones the Trailblazer.”
The woman driving the Trailblazer had to be extricated from the vehicle.
Cellphone video showed two men on the ground in handcuffs.
7SkyForce captured the Lexus with significant damage and the mangled Trailblazer at the scene.
Paramedics transported the woman driving the Traiblazer and all four men inside the Lexus to Jackson South Medical Center.
Just before 8:45 p.m., police confirmed the drivers of both vehicles died.
“It is unfortunate that the driver of the Traiblazer was transported to the hospital, and she succumbed to her injuries,” said Zabaleta, “and one of the occupants of the white Lexus also succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.”
Traffic in the northbound lanes was brought to a standstill as crews worked the area.
Just before midnight, 7News cameras captured a scene that was still active and was expected to remain that way well into the morning.
The three other occupants of the vehicle were taken to the hospital and will now be questioned by the police.
“All three were detained because they all need to be interviewed by investigators, so they can provide their side of the story, their details and exactly what occurred,” Zabaleta said.
Friday afternoon, police identified the driver of the Trailblazer as 43-year-old Amy Whitelock and the driver of the SUV as 23-year-old Tyrese Grace.
Grace’s friends and family remembered him on social media, Friday.
It remains unclear what the initial stop was for or why the driver sped off.
“At every tragic incident, you try to learn something,” said Zabaleta, “and we urge the community, we urge everyone that’s behind the wheel to take driving seriously, because unfortunately, speed kills.”
As of Friday night, police have not identified the other three men who were traveling in the Lexus.
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