MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A wild wreck on a busy Miami street sent several vehicles crashing into a bus stop and five people to the hospital Wednesday morning.
In all, seven vehicles were involved in several collisions that ultimately ended with a car slamming into a bus bench packed with people at the intersection of LeJeune Road and Flagler Street in Miami near a Shell gas station around 10:30 Wednesday morning.
All of the cars were at a red light going northbound when the first of several collisions happened. One of the vehicles involved was a Miami-Dade Transit pick-up truck.
“The truck came barreling through the white Miami-Dade truck, didn’t stop, we were stopped at the light and he just hit everybody there,” said Carlos Sanchez, a driver hit. “There were three people that were pretty badly injured, one gentleman had a severed leg.”
“I was looking at the rear-view mirror and I saw that truck full speed ahead and he started hitting the cars, one after the other,” said Richard Chavez, a driver hit. “I brake-stop because I saw it coming, but it happened in as spur of a second.”
Several people were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital in serious condition. It is unclear if the victims had been at the bus stop, pedestrians or pumping gas at the time.
The injured people are identified by police as Francisco Sanchez, 62, Nancy Sanchez, 56, and Transito Lopez, 78, Alfredo Menendez, 57, James Arthur Bowers, 32, Carlos Ruben Sanchez, 59, Jorge Alberto Ramos, 25, Orlando Morales, 48, Ricardo Chavez, 33, and Reinaldo Hernandez, 28.
At Jackson Memorial’s Ryder Trauma Center, Transito Lopez, same name as his 78-year-old father who was seriously injured in the crash, waited for word about his father’s condition as he clung to his dad’s bus pass.
“He’s very critical,” Lopez said in Spanish.
Lopez was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where, according to his son, he went in to surgery.
His son said the retired construction worker, who rides the bus every day, has lost part of his right leg.
“He has a lot of pain,” Lopez’s nephew Pedro Garzon told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana. “But he’s in a coma.”
Nancy Sanchez, 56, and Fransisco Sanchez, 62 where also taken to JMH.
Police are still investigating to find out who is responsible for the crash.
“We are not sure who is at fault and if speed played a factor,” Miami Police Sgt. Freddie Cruz said.
“The white Miami-Dade truck just didn’t stop,” driver Carlos Sanchez said. “We were stopped at the light and he just hit everybody there.”
Miami-Dade Transit says the driver of the county vehicle was Alfredo Menendez.
A spokeswoman said he suffered non-life threatening injuries in the chain reaction crash.
Menendez, 57, and the driver of the Volkswagen, Arthur Bowers, 32, were taken to Doctor’s Hospital.
The five other drivers narrowly escaped injury.
“It’s amazing,” Sanchez said. “You’ve got to pay attention when you’re driving.”
No charges are pending at this time, said Sgt. Cruz, but the accident remains under investigation.
A similar crash at this same exact intersection took place in June 2011. A pedestrian was killed in that accident when two drivers collided in the intersection causing one to swerve onto the sidewalk killing the pedestrian.