MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three joggers, going for a morning jog on the 79th Street Causeway, were struck by the driver of an SUV who police say had fallen asleep at the wheel. Two of those joggers were seriously injured, according to Miami Fire Rescue.
Berlin Gabriel, 22, according to authorities, dozed off at the wheel and struck two two female joggers who had fallen behind a group of joggers on the Causeway around 8:30 am Saturday morning. Lt. Ignatius Carroll said both women suffered head trauma. A third jogger, Micah Gill, who was running with the women said he was also hit by the car.
“I was hit in the back. He came up behind us and took us out,” Gill told CBS4’s Maggie Newland. “We’re talking, we’re chatting and next thing I know I’m just being tossed about,” he added. The joggers were part of the Miami Shores Half-Marathon Training Program, according to Gill. Five runners were doing a six mile run Saturday morning.
The driver, who authorities say had worked all night, hit a light post, and then struck the joggers.
The impact sent one of the women over the causeway rail and into the brush by the bay.
Both seriously injured joggers were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital Trauma where they remain in stable condition. Gill said he initially refused treatment, but later went to the hospital.
No one inside the vehicle was hurt.
Gabriel’s girlfriend, Jesika Ancrum, and his infant nephew were also inside the SUV. According to Ancrum’s mother, Debbie Ancrum, Gabriel and Ancrum worked all night at Walmart and got off at 7 a.m. Gabriel then picked his mother up in Weston and drove to Miami Beach to drop her off at work. He, Ancrum, and his nephew were on the way back from the beach when Ancrum said Gabriel fell asleep at the wheel. “I got the frantic call ‘Mommy I don’t know where I’m at we were in an accident,’ that’s the call I got from my daughter,” said Ancrum.
Gill says one of the joggers broke her collarbone and bones in her face, but both are expected to recover. “I don’t get it,” he said, adding, “If you’re tired there’s another adult in the car why didn’t you swap out?”
Gabriel, according to police, was arrested because he had a suspended license.
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