NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – A six-year-old girl is dead and her grandmother was left in serious condition after both were hit by a car near the intersection of NE 13th Place and NE 209th Terrace in Miami-Dade County.
Wednesday night, balloons, bears and flowers stood where 6-year-old Betasha Bien-Aime was struck and killed while walking to school.
The girl’s mother, Marie Bien-Aime, is raising questions about the accident and speeding in her neighborhood.
“My daughter was only 6,” said Bien-Aime of her daughter Betasha. “My mom lies in a hospital with a broken ankle and a broken arm. She faces surgery. And all my family is devastated. I will pursue the driver’s family to the extent of the law because I will not lose my daughter and then look at her family like nothing ever happened.” She said “My daughter is gone. I don’t have my daughter.”
“I heard the noise and I rushed outside,” said Olalalikan Shokundi, who near the scene at the time of the accident.
Lt. John Jenkins of Miami-Dade Police said Betasha Bien-Aime and her grandmother, Emilia Frenel, were trying to cross the street, but weren’t in the crosswalk, when a car driving north hit them both.
“I saw the little baby and the grandma on the ground, full of blood,” Shokundi said. “She wasn’t able to talk, even the baby wasn’t able to talk.”
The driver of the car attends Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School which is near Madie Ives Community Elementary School where Bien-Aime went to school.
“It’s devastating for me. In a school zone which is supposed to be 15 mph and you see the kids from school go flying through school zones and this must stop because I just lost my six year old,” said the Bien-Aime. “My mother was walking with her because I work Wednesday through Sunday and my mom walks her to school. Now my mom is in the hospital with a broken arm, a broken leg and my baby is gone.”
The accident happened around 7:17 a.m., according to Lt. Jenkins. The deadly accident happened before the school zone speed kicked in at 7:30 a.m.
Neighbors in the area said many of the high school students and parents of elementary school children speed down the street in the morning and that car accidents are common in the area.
“I just hope this here is a wake-up call to let the community know and the school know that something needs to be done,” said neighbor Thomasena Johnson. “Whatever they can do to control the speeding of the traffic in the morning.”
It was a sentiment that was echoed by Daniel Harvey who also rushed to the scene when he heard the accident.
“You got these babies running around here and all these people riding through here man,” Harvey said, “and it’s ain’t right. It’s a sad situation man.”
Bien-Aime said her whole family is devastated by their loss.
“She was very outgoing, very outspoken, she was smart and went to Madie Ives and it is really sad to even explain what I’m going through right now,” said Bien-Aime.
“She was very smart. She really enjoyed people. And I am very sad that this has happened and I
do not have her with me today,” she said.
Students from Madie Ives and their parents told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench they were saddened by this tragedy.
“I feel sad for her,” said eight-year-old Juliette Brooks. She told D’Oench, “I don’t feel very good about this. People don’t watch while they are driving.”
Her mother Monica Brooks said, “I always park by the school and make sure my child is safe. I always have to make sure they are safe and ok. I feed sad about what happened.”
“I feel sad about what happened,” said 9-year-old student Ezra Smith. “I feel bad about the child and the older woman who was hit.”
“Oh this is terrible,” said Ezra’s father Alphamso Smith. “We feel choked up. We feel really bad.”
Police are investigating the accident. The teen was released into the custody of her parents and no charges have been filed. They said the driver has a valid license.