One Dead, Two Hurt When Car Slams Into Hialeah Bus Bench
HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – One man is dead after a car collided with a bus bench in Hialeah Thursday morning, police said.
A red Toyota Camry was seen resting atop a bench where moments earlier three men sat waiting for a bus.
A blue Kia Sorento was also damaged on scene.
The two vehicles collided near the intersection of West 42nd Street and 16th Avenue in Hialeah, according to Det. Carl Zogby.
“The red car (lost) control after the crash and runs into three men sitting on the bus bench,” Det. Zogby explained.
Witnesses said the driver tried to help, but there was little he could do.
Brian Peraza was working at a car wash nearby. He told CBS 4 News he called 911 when he saw the severity of the injuries.
“One was hit in the back. He wasn’t hurt much,” Peraza recalled. “The one who was on the floor was hurt really bad. He was breathing hard. He was bleeding on his face. He couldn’t move.”
Investigators said that man did not survive.
He was identified as Fidencio Ricardo Gonzalez, 69.
CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana spoke with Gonzalez’s niece after the crash. She did not want to go on camera, but said she lived at the Hialeah home with her uncle. She said the rest of his family is in Cuba. She was too distraught to say anything else.
Alberto Rodriguez, 35, was hurt, but left Jackson Memorial Hospital several hours later.
He went to the scene of the crash Thursday night to leave flowers and a teddy bear in honor of Fidencio Gonzalez.
Rodriguez said Gonzalez was being treated at the hospital right next to him.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t do much,” Rodriguez told CBS 4′s Lauren Pastrana. “I keep on repeating, ‘Maybe if I had held his hand and ran. Maybe he wouldn’t be dead. Maybe he would be like me, in pain, not dead.’”
Rodriguez teared up at the scene. He’s expecting a child with his girlfriend and is relieved he will be around to witness the birth.
Rodriguez said he thought the red car was going fast, but police have not confirmed those details.
Jose Marrero, a 45-year-old homeless man, suffered minor injuries but was not taken to the hospital.
“This intersection does have a stop sign,” Det. Zogby said. “So somebody is in the wrong and somebody is in the right. Somebody wasn’t paying attention. It’s careless driving and now we see what can happen.”
A similar accident has happened before.
In October, 83-year-old Mary Smith was killed on her way to Bible Study in Miami Gardens when a driver lost control of his car and crashed into a bus bench. Several others were hurt.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do it. It was an accident,” Mark Derefaka said in a video clip he sent to CBS 4 News.
Derefaka said he was cut off.
Police thought Derefaka appeared impaired at the scene.
“I wasn’t drunk. The only think I’m guilty of, yes, I was driving without a license,” he said in the video.
Derefaka is charged with one count of vehicular homicide and four counts of reckless driving.
In the latest case, police said the drivers, identified as Yusniel Morejon Gonzalez, 22, and Natalie Del Carmen Reyes, 29, are cooperating with detectives.
“We don’t suspect anything criminal at this point,” Det. Zogby said. “But we do have very serious and unfortunate injuries as a result of this accident.”