MIAMI (CBS4) – Three out of the four people hospitalized after they were hit at a Miami Beach bus stop by a runaway driver are out of the hospital.
The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Abbot Avenue and 72nd Street Monday. According to Miami Beach police spokesman Detective Juan Sanchez, a Toyota Corolla drove up onto the sidewalk, hit two people and then slammed into two other people who were sitting on the bus bench. One of the people injured was in a wheelchair.
According to Miami Beach police, the four people injured include Joseph Goldschlaf, 71, Antoinelle Knights, 58, Juan Mora, 28, and Joseph Washington, 71
Washington spoke with CBS4’s Natalia Zea about the crash. He has stitches on both hands, arms, and even his throat. His legs were also bruised and swollen. He says he was waiting for a bus to head home from his job at a Miami Beach pharmacy.
He says it was raining and he saw the car speeding, and spinning out of control.
“I jumped up and ran, and by the time I jumped up and ran she was coming on the sidewalk, and I couldn’t get out of the way ’cause I’m not as fast as I was when I was 16,” said Washington.
He says the side of the car hit him, throwing him into the bus stop’s glass enclosure, shattering it. And he saw the driver take off.
“After the car hit us, it knocked the front end back toward the street and she took off down the street.
Florencia Araujo said she heard the crash.
“It was scary, and to know it hit four people, it’s like ‘Oh my God’,” said Araujo.
After the crash the driver, identified as 28-year old Claudia Gallegos, drove to a gas station in North Bay Village about two and half miles away where she stopped.
A woman working inside the gas station, who only wanted to be identified as Meiling, said Gallegos came into the store screaming.
“She said ‘Please, please call the police’ because I don’t know what happened,” said Meiling.
Gallegos stayed at the station until police arrived.
“She’s very, very nervous. She’s crying a lot. I don’t know exactly what happened because she’s a lot of nervous,” said Meiling.
Gallegos reportedly told Meiling she swerved onto the sidewalk after a big truck ran her off the road.
Investigators took a closer look at her car at the gas station. A sign from the bus stop was still piercing one of the car doors.
Gallegos, who was charged with four counts of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, has bonded out of jail.
Washington said he doesn’t hold hard feelings toward Gallegos, but he does believe she committed a crime.
“I’m surprised I wasn’t killed, ’cause you see this cut right here (on my neck), if it had come just a tinge more and hit that (jugular) vein I wouldn’t have been here. I’d have bled to death.”
Goldschlaf remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital and is stable.
Zea tried to get Gallegos’ side of the story Tuesday, but she declined to speak with media.