MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A couple visiting from Central America is speaking out about a close call that happened when a driver lost control of his SUV and slammed into a Miami Beach bicycle stand, narrowly missing one of them and several other pedestrians.
The crash took place at the Citi Bike Miami stand along 22nd Street, off Collins Avenue, just feet from the W Hotel, shortly after 6 p.m., Monday.
Cellphone video captured the Chevy Trailblazer involved moments after it careened off the street during a busy time and went airborne, according to witnesses.
Armen Sarkisian said he and his wife, Margo Vasquez, are in town from Costa Rica with their two children.
He said he was heading from the beach to meet his family and witnessed the crash while walking feet from the bike rack.
Witness Aharon Bernal recorded video of the wild crash.
“The car literally came flying,” he said. “It was pretty nuts.”
“This is crazy,” said Vasquez.
The SUV ended up suspended on the bike station.
The impact was so intense that the vehicle’s air bags were deployed and auto parts were scattered across the street.
But despite the high volume of pedestrians, no one was injured.
Bernal said the bicycles on the rack acted as a barrier.
“Without those Citi Bikes to protect you, we would’ve been roadkill,” he said.
“If [Armen] would’ve been walking on this side of the street versus that side of the way, back to the hotel,” said Vasquez, “I just thank God that he was fine.”
Vasquez said her family’s Miami Beach vacations may have to be put in park for a while, due to what she called a different energy and unpredictability in the area.
“I don’t think I’ll be coming back here, honestly, after this experience,” she said.
It remains unknown what caused the driver to lose control. Police said he refused medical treatment and was cited.
“It’s about just driving carefully and caring about other people’s lives. That’s what really matters,” said Bernal.
Witnesses said the bike rack sustained some damage, but it has since been repaired.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.