FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A driver who police suspect was under influence of an “unknown substance” struck and killed two men early Thursday morning.
Around 2 a.m., Alyza Rachel Russell, 22, was reportedly heading west on Broward Boulevard at a high rate of speed. When she went to make a turn on SW 5th Street, she struck a man on bicycle, according to witnesses.
Russell reportedly kept driving and turned into a parking lot where she struck another man, according to police.
“I saw a car traveling at a high rate of speed and before I know it the car just swung a left. I don’t know if they lost control, or were trying to make a left turn here on 5th, as fast as they were going there was no way possible they could make that turn,” said Byron Campbell, a witness to the accident.
One of the men struck died on the scene, the other was taken to Broward Health Medical Center where he died.
Witnesses were horrified when they noticed that the driver of the car tried to leave, but eventually wasn’t able to.
“They were trying to accelerate but there was somebody under there. I was trying to tell them to stop, stop,” said witness Roberto Mendoza.
Police obtained a warrant and were able to draw blood from Russell on the scene. She was interviewed by police and is expected to be released. Statements were also taken from two people who were in the car with Russell.
Charges are pending.
Patrick Ducenord came to the accident scene Thursday night to pray. He says he was close with one of the men who died, a man known on the streets as Zo.
“Happy person, happy person,” Ducenord told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “Regardless of anything. Stayed with a smile on his face.”
Ducenord said he just saw the two men after midnight Thursday morning.
“To wake up and watch the news and see this, it really really bothered me. It hit close to home,” Ducenord said.
Members of the homeless community say the loss is profound.
“They were regular guests at our shared meals and people that we loved dearly,” said Pery Canan, of Hope South Florida. “We’re gonna miss them.”