8 hospitalized after SUV hits transit bus in NW Miami-Dade

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews took eight people to the hospital after, officials said, an SUV with four people inside rear-ended a Miami-Dade Transit bus in Northwest Miami-Dade, Monday afternoon.

City of Miami Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the crash in the area of Northwest 79th Street and Eighth Court, just west of Interstate 95.

7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene of the collision that took place during one of the busiest times of the day. Officials said an SUV crashed into the transit bus just before 5:30 p.m.

“This is significant. This could’ve been a lot worse,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “It appears the driver may have looked up or realized how close he was to the bus and tried to hit the brakes.”

Airbags inside the SUV were deployed at the moment of impact.

Officials said 12 people in total sustained injuries. Eight of those victims were bus passengers.

“We identified about 12 people who were complaining of injuries. At that point, this made it a level 2 mass casualty incident,” said Carroll.

Investigators said there were four people inside the SUV: an adult, a 12-year-old girl and possibly two older adults. There were more than 38 riders inside the bus at the time of the crash.

Paramedics took the occupants of the SUV and four of the bus passengers to Ryder Trauma Center.

The cousin of the SUV’s driver, who rushed to the family’s side after he heard about the crash, told 7News they were enjoying a day out in the sun. “We were just at the beach, just hanging out at the beach. That’s all we did,” he said.

Police shut down all westbound lanes of Northwest 79th Street while they cleared the scene. Those lanes were later reopened.

A Miami-Dade Transit driver was able to drive the bus away from the scene.

Meanwhile, the SUV driver’s cousin remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital to be with his family. “I’m just waiting. My dad, he broke his arm,” he said. “I’m just waiting to see any updates. Besides that, that’s all I know at this point.”

Authorities have not specified whether or not the driver of the SUV will face any charges.

Police continue to investigate.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.