MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Police have arrested a man they believe was involved in an accident that sent a school bus crashing into a house.
Police arrested Elijah Smith, 39, and charged him with leaving the scene of crash with an injury; habitually driving with a suspended license; leaving the scene of an accident with property damage; and for having an expired drivers license. He’s scheduled to go before a bond court judge Thursday afternoon.
The accident happened Wednesday afternoon at 2100 NW 47th street. Initial reports indicate that Smith, who was driving a Dodge Durango, ran a stop sign and caused the driver of the bus to lose control. The bus plowed through a fence before it crashed into the front of the home.
The two adults and two children on the bus, who were coming from Edison Park Elementary School received minor injuries. There were several people in the house, but no one was hurt.
Collis McDuffie, who has lived in the home for 50 years, said at first he did know what was going on.
“And all of the sudden I hear this boom like something blew up.” said 78-year old McDuffie.
At first, he said, he thought it was an explosion that rocked the round while he was painting in the back room.
“You don’t know where your mind go at that time, I worried about my daughter,” said McDuffie, “She was all right.“
His granddaughter had just left the house moments before her room was demolished.
“Soon as I stepped foot in the kitchen ( I heard) ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom’ and I turned around a I looked and I just went to screaming, I’m like ‘Oh my God, a bus a bus is in the house’,” said Dominique McDuffie. “I’m blessed to be alive because I could have been still in that room.”
The family spent Thursday gathering their belongings and moving them to storage. The accident was a difficult blow to McDuffie who was working on fixing up the home with renovated rooms and new tile.
“I feel good cause I didn’t get hurt, she didn’t get hurt, that’s a blessing right there,” said Collis McDuffie. “The house can be replaced but you can’t replace life.”