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Mayor’s Son Alleges “Switcheroo” In Red Light Runner Crash

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Carlos Gimenez, Jr. alleges drivers switched places after red light crash.  Source: City of Miami

Carlos Gimenez, Jr. alleges drivers switched places after red light crash. Source: City of Miami

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBS4) — Carlos Gimenez, Jr. said it hurts to laugh.  He’s recovering from a head injury and a concussion following a late night car crash last week.

The son of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who does international consulting work, was riding home to Coral Gables with a co-worker after a Miami Beach Commission meeting, when the car he was riding in was struck by a red light runner at Flagler Street and Southwest 42nd Avenue.

“It lasted a second and a half, but the build up to it felt like five minutes,” said Gimenez. “We saw it coming.”

Gimenez and business associate Luis Michael Mata had just gotten the green light at the intersection when a black Mercedes appears to have blown the light and slammed into them.

At first, it may seem like your run-of-the mill, late-night, Miami traffic crash.

However, the Mayor’s son said there was a twist.

He claims the people in the Mercedes that struck the vehicle in which he was riding, “started to play musical chairs,” as he put it, to confuse the facts of who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

“A gentleman was actually driving the car. But, there were two ladies in the car, one of whom jumped into the driver’s seat,” Gimenez said.

“I saw with my own two eyes that it was the gentleman who was driving and drove it right into us.”

The wreck and “switcheroo” were captured on cameras installed at the intersection to catch red light runners.

The night of the wreck, Miami Police arrested Maricary Martinez, who told them she was behind the wheel.

Martinez told police she was visiting from Cuba for just two days, didn’t have any identification, and simply wanted to try driving her friend’s car.

Martinez was arrested that night, and cited for no valid driver’s license, careless driving, and no proof of insurance.

Alain Alfonso, the owner of the Mercedes, who was in the car with Martinez and her mother at the time of the crash, was arrested and cited for permitting and unauthorized driver to drive according to police.

“He came out talking about his car was more expensive than my friend’s car.  At some point, they even tried to flee the scene and I pointed at the cameras saying those capturing everything that’s happening here,” said Gimenez.

CBS4’s Brian Andrews went to Alfonso’s address, listed on the Miami Police report about the crash.

The woman who answered the door said he moved away and had no idea where he went.

It seems Alfonso’s insurance company doesn’t know where he is either, Andrews learned.

Gimenez told CBS4 the Mercedes had a paper tag, and Alfonso’s insurance company was in the process of verifying if he even had valid insurance for the newly purchased vehicle.

Still, the Mayor’s son says the red light cameras captured the true facts of the case, and that different angles of video from the intersection show Alfonso was behind the wheel.

“Hopefully the right person now is going to be prosecuted for driving the car and making false statements to law enforcement,” Gimenez said.

“I find it disgusting he would throw that young girl under the bus like he did to take the fall for his actions.”

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