SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - One of the victims killed in a Southwest Miami-Dade crash has been identified as a beloved preschool teacher.
Karina Diaz, her husband and her mother were killed in a crash along Southwest 92nd Avenue and 72nd Street just before 6 a.m., Tuesday.
Diaz worked as a preschool teacher for the past five years at the Creative Learning Center in the Kendall area.
Diaz and her husband were driving to drop her mother off for dialysis when a speeding driver crashed into their vehicle.
“Three innocent lives: Elenita — her mom — and her husband Adalberto,” said CLC Director Emi Alvarez. “Karina also was a cancer survivor, but that did not stop her from being here through the pandemic with her mask on through the whole time. ‘Emi, do you need me to stay late? Emi, do you need me to come early?’ She was a very dedicated person.
Many at the Creative Learning Center are mourning the loss.
“She was not only a person who gave herself to children, but gave herself to her coworkers also,” Alvarez said.
“We heard the news yesterday, and we just couldn’t believe it,” said Irina Sobril, whose son attends the Creative Learning Center.
“It’s really sad. That shouldn’t happen to anybody,” said Ana Blanco, whose granddaughter also attends the school.
The couple was on their way to drop off Karina’s mother at dialysis when, just before 6 a.m., the driver of a white Range Rover speeding away from police violently slammed into their car.
It happened at the intersection of Sunset Drive and 92nd Avenue.
Officials believe the driver of the Range Rover, Rodney Rodriguez, was under the influence.
“According to our traffic homicide investigators, alcohol is a factor,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
Diaz’s 20-year-old daughter, Betty, later got the devastating call.
”Her mom, her grandmother and her father were in that car. Her whole life was in that car,” Alvarez said.
School staff and parents came together to set up a GoFundMe page to help her during this difficult time.
She, like her mother, also works at the school.
“Ms. Betty is one of our teacher assistants, so she leaves that legacy with us now,” Alvarez said.
“We’re praying for her and to stay strong, and I think everyone in the community will pull through to help her as much as we can,” Sobril said.
It remains unclear what charges Rodriguez will face.
If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe for Betty, click here.
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