Police Seek Driver In Deadly U.S. 1 Hit & Run Crash
MIAMI (CBS4) – Police are looking for the driver of a white pickup truck and two people who they say are key witnesses in a crash that left one woman dead.
According to Miami Fire Rescue officials, there were actually two separate crashes in the same exact location. The first took place around 6:05 a.m. when a white pickup truck collided with a silver Honda at SW 17th Avenue. The driver of the Honda was identified as 71-year-old Ana Zuniga of Aventura.
Zuniga was traveling southbound on Dixie Highways (US-1) in the center lane when a driver of a white pickup truck traveling in the inside lane clipped the Honda from behind causing Zuniga’s car to lose control and collide with a tree in the median, police said.
Zuniga was pronounced dead on the scene, officials said.
“Oh my God. No no,” cried Gloria Durham, Zuniga’s neighbor. “Oh that was her.? Oh my God. I saw it on the news this morning but I didn’t know that was her.”
The driver of the white pickup truck left the scene. Making a the painful news even more difficult for Durham.
“That’s horrible my God,” she said. “You know what I’m an older person myself. I’m not as old as Ana but I travel every night at work by myself. Somebody could do that to me. That’s devastating. How could they do something like that to her and she’s such a sweet person. I can’t believe Ana is gone. I can’t believe Ana is gone.”
The Miami Police Department said two people tried to help Zuniga. They were also speaking with an officer on the scene when a second crash took place at approximately 6:09 a.m.
Investigators said that at least three cars hit each other, including Maria Mazzawi’s SUV. A white pickup truck traveling southbound on U.S.1 crashed with a silver Nissan Sentra and a silver Toyota RAV4. Those involved in the second crash were treated for minor injuries.
“It was scary,” Mazzawi said. “It was scary because they just stopped all of a sudden and we were you know…but I’m fine.”
According to police, two key witnesses left the scene. They were speaking with police prior to the second crash.
“They scattered,” officer Willy Moreno of the Miami Police Department said. “Everybody jumped out of the way to avoid being impacted by the second accident and in the midst of all this commotion they left.”
Police blocked both directions of U.S. 1 from Southwest 17th Avenue to 22nd Avenue to conduct their investigation.
Police are looking for the driver of the white pickup truck and the two witnesses. One of the witnesses is described as a black Haitian man approximately 6 feet tall and was wearing a lab coat. The second man was an elderly Caucasian man, also approximately 6 feet tall.
All lanes of U.S.1 at 17th Avenue re-opened to traffic just before 11 a.m. after being shut down for nearly five hours.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305- 471- TIPS.