CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – The Florida Highway Patrol has released the identity of the man who died in a wrong way crash on the Sawgrass Expressway early Wednesday morning in Coral Springs.
FHP also released images of his car traveling in the wrong direction.
The accident, which involved three vehicles, happened just after 5 a.m. between Sample Road and Coral Ridge Drive just east of the curve.
Parkland resident Harold Martinez, 36, entered the highway at Sample Road and was heading north in the southbound lanes when he hit a Toyota Corolla driven by 56-year old Cesar Nunez, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Nicholas Cassell, 18, tried to avoid the crash but was hit by Nunez. He said the crash in front of him was violent.
“Their front end just completely disintegrated in like a kind of like an explosion everything,” he said. “Just disintegrated and blew apart.”
Cassell was not injured, but really shaken up.
Both Martinez and Nunez were taken to the hospital, Martinez died.
The scene of the accident was just west of another wrong way wreck which killed 21-year old Kaitlyn Nicole Ferrante and 21-year old Marisa Caran Catronio in November 2013. Kayla Mendoza, 21, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for DUI Manslaughter.
Following the deaths of Ferrante and Catronio, the Florida Turnpike began a pilot program and installed radar enabled wrong way signs and cameras at 15 highway interchanges in South Florida. When the signs detect a wrong way driver, they flash a warning to alert the driver and alert the FHP.
Investigators say Martinez triggered a ‘wrong way’ sign when he entered the highway going the wrong direction. He failed, however, to see or heed the warning.