4 Dead, Including Child, In Fiery Okeechobee Road Wreck
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NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) — A horrific car crash on Okeechobee Road that claimed four lives including a 6-year-old girl was caused by a speeding car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The uncle of the girl is telling CBS4 News that the accident took the life of “an angel.”
“She was just an angel,” said Drew Santora. “It is just devastating. The whole family is devastated.”
Santora told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “It’s horrible. It’s tragic. It couldn’t happen to two nicer people. It’s just devastating.”
Ironically, all four people who were killed in the Northwest Miami-Dade crash had lived in North Miami Beach. The accident claimed the lives of a father and his son and another father and the 6-year-old girl.
The Florida Highway Patrol says Santora’s niece, Norvel Janett Montenegro, and her father, 47-year-old Arturo Javier Montenegro, were southbound in their 2003 Honda Civic LX on Okeechobee Road just west of the Florida Turnpike when the accident happened at 8:40 Wednesday night.
FHP says a 2003 BMW driven by 29-year-old Miguel Remedio Gonzalez lost control, crossed the median and hit Montenegro’s car head on. Gonzalez’s father—56-year-old Lazaro Miguel
Remedio Palacio—was also killed.
Norvel Montenegro was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital but did not survive.
Santora said, “It’s just that everyone is in such a rush to do something. It’s horrible. It’s heartbreaking.”
FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez said he could not say how fast the BMW was going but he said the driver was speeding.
“It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” Sanchez told D’Oench.
“Anytime you have so many lives lost and anytime a child loses a life, it impacts all of us.”
Sanchez said, “Witnesses said they saw the BMW speeding, lose control and cross the median.”
He said it appeared the BMW was not racing another car. He could not say how fast the BMW was going. An FHP report said alcohol was not a factor.
He said that area of Okeechobee Road “has a history of kids coming out here racing. It happens all the time.”
Sanchez said while FHP has some witnesses, he urged any witnesses who saw the speeding BMW before the crash to come forward.
“That would definitely help with the investigation,” he said.
Montenegro was a single father. He and his daughter Norvel lived on the 5th floor of an apartment building at Northeast 20th Ave. and 164th Street.
That’s where neighbors said the father and his daughter were inseparable.
“Oh my heart aches,” said Isabel Vega, who lived down the hallway from the Montenegros. “It’s very bad.”
Another neighbor, Nathaniel Viruet, “It’s very bad. They were good people. He was always with her. There’s a lot of people out there going too fast.”
Across the hallway, another neighbor who identified herself as “April” said “It hurts a lot.”
Norvel’s uncle Drew Santora said the little “angel” would be missed.