HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida driver is recovering at the hospital, one day after, police said, she was struck by a speeding car that burst into flames, killing all three people inside, Sunday morning.
Surveillance video captured the car slamming into 64-year-old Josephine Altidor’s minivan, along Hollywood Boulevard, next to a Chevron gas station, just west of Interstate 95, at around 6:35 a.m.
Cellphone video captured the burning vehicle next to a bus stop. Officials said the three occupants perished inside.
Rescue crews responded to the scene, at around 7 a.m.
“Two vehicles, again, a motor vehicle accident, and one vehicle was on fire, fully engulfed,” said an official.
According to police, the smaller vehicle was speeding westbound on Hollywood Boulevard when it spun out of control and crashed into the minivan, which was turning onto the roadway.
Good Samaritans helped save the victim in the van. She suffered non-critical injuries, police said.
Stephanie Leuenberger, a nurse, said she was right behind the minivan when the crash happened.
“We went to try to help her. There were two other nurses that showed up who tried to break the windows with their shoes,” she said. “Anything we could do because we didn’t have anything to break it open, and then a cop did show up and was able to break the window open on the other side, and we were able to get her out.”
Nico Morales said he and other bystanders ran to grab fire extinguishers.
“There was only two fire extinguishers at the gas station, and there was nothing else we could do,” he said. “There was a guy who rushed also toward the car, and we were standing right there, and I saw the driver there, but I don’t know if he was conscious or unconscious. I didn’t see nobody yelling or screaming.”
The surveillance video also shows good Samaritans rushing to grab fire extinguishers from the gas station.
“When I saw him speeding past, after that I heard a loud bang, and then it was like smoke, the car caught on fire,” said Yvette Fluker. “It sounded like a semi-truck hit a building.”
A witness said he called authorities. “I get off quickly, and I see it was a car crashing, and I get the phone to call 911,” he said.
Fluker said she knew right away the crash would have a tragic ending.
“I just start crying because I already knew somebody was dead,” she said. I didn’t know who or what, but I already knew, and I just cried. Immediately, from the impact and how fast he was going, I already knew it was going to be a tragic ending.”
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Police have not released the names of the deceased victims.
Altidor’s family said they are grateful that she survived the crash. She has since been released from the hospital.
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