MIAMI (CBSMiami) — One teen was killed and a second was seriously injured in a crash on a South Florida highway early Wednesday morning.
The Florida Highway Patrol told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the driver of the speeding car was just 14 years old and the vehicle was registered to a Hialeah man, though, it’s not known how the teens are connected to him or if the vehicle was stolen.
FHP trooper and spokesman Joe Sanchez told CBS4 that the car had not been reported stolen.
The three teens were in a BMW heading east on the State Road 112/Airport Expressway when the driver lost control and slammed into a guardrail near N.W. 27th Avenue. Sanchez said the car initially struck a guardrail on the southbound side of State Road 112, and then veered to the northbound side and struck a guardrail there.
“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and, for reasons unknown, the vehicle lost control and hit a guardrail,” said Sanchez.
The driver, Jerome Gardner, was pronounced dead on the scene when Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived. Clifton Patterson, 14, was trapped inside the car.
“Due to the complex extrication, a surgeon was called to assist with a partial amputation,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Batallion Chief Ray Jadallah.
A field surgeon from Jackson Memorial Hospital performed a partial amputation of the teen’s left arm before he could be pulled from the wreckage. He was then taken to the Ryder Trauma Center.
The third teen, 16-year-old Carlton Smith, who had been in the back seat, was not hurt.
The Florida Highway Patrol said this is the kind of thing they worry about right before the holidays.
“Thanksgiving is the most dangerous holiday in the United States,” said Sanchez. “The day before Thanksgiving, fatal accidents increase by 15 percent. That’s why the Florida Highway Patrol is out here, committed to have a high presence and make sure that motorists that are driving to visit their families get there safe.”
Patterson’s father said that his son and Gardner were best friends and that the accident happened because Gardner fell asleep. Patterson’s father told CBS4’s Rielle Creighton that his son was alert and conscious.
FHP said alcohol tests on Gardner were pending.