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KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) —  An early morning crash took the life of  an 18-year old girl and left two teens injured in Key Biscayne Friday morning.

The family friend of one of the victims -Maria Vargas- was stunned by the site of a mangled, 2008 silver Porsche.

Police said the teenage driver lost control at a high rate of speed, hit trees and a front gate of a home on upscale Harbor Drive.

Daniela Benavides San Miguel who was in the back seat of the car at the time died.

“We think it’s a terrible tragedy when you have an accident like this. It is shocking when you have children with something like this,” said Vargas. “Definitely speed had to be the cause of this accident. It’s just terrible with kids and what’s happening with things like that.”

Police said the driver, Isaias Medina and his front-seat passenger Matthew Saldana, also 17 and from Key Biscayne were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital with head injuries.

Neighbor Judy Reimach was walking her dog when she heard the crash.

“Sounded like a race track then I heard ba-ba-ba crash,” said Reimach.

She came close to the Porsche and heard what the driver said.

“He was a young kid. He said my parents are going to kill me,” said Reimach. “The reason I’m speaking up is he said something ran in front of his car and I had to avoid it.”

She did not believe him.

“The reason I am sad is you have to own up to what you did,” said Reimach.

The posted speed limit in the area is 30 miles per hour.

“It’s terrible and this teaches all of us not to speed and all of us to wear seat belts,” said Reimach.

Key Biscayne’s Police Chief Charles Press repeated a warning the community has heard before.

“Speed kills. It always has and always will,” said Press.

Press said the car frame of the speeding Porsche hindered protection.

“It was such a horrific accident that there was very little to protect the passengers inside the car. And it was a convertible type, so structurally it was difficult for anyone to survive that,” said Press.

Chief Press said Daniella was preparing to go away to college.

“This was a horrible tragedy on New Year’s Day. It is something we all worry about as police officers and parents. It scares us to death. We do everything we can to educate our kids about the dangers,” said Daniella. “It’s Miami. Young people make decisions but it leaves families facing the results the rest of their lives and tragedy.”

Miami-Dade police are leading this investigation. It’s not known if the 17-year-old driver will be cited. Detectives are interviewing both teenagers at the hospital. They are also looking into whether alcohol was a factor in this crash.


Peter D'Oench