MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Heroic actions by several Miami Beach and Miami police officers saved the lives of three people after a fiery crash on the Venetian Causeway early Friday morning.

It happened NE 12th Place and South Venetian Way.

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“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed in an eastbound direction toward the beach. The driver lost control, hit the median, hit some trees, continued eastbound through the backyard of a home, over the pool, through the side of the home and finally came to rest in the front where the vehicle was engulfed in flames,” said Miami police Commander Freddie Cruz.

A passerby spotted the burning Mercedes Benz and alerted police.

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Two passengers were able to get out and appeared to be okay. The driver, however, was trapped.

A Miami Beach police officer was first on the scene, then a Miami officer. They raced to help.

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“They were trying to bang on the windows. We got my hose, the neighbor’s hose, and we gave it to them. They were hosing it down waiting for the fire truck,” said Vivian Nouel.

When Fire Rescue arrived they quickly got to work, trying to free the driver. They cut into the car were able to free him. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

“I want to thank our fellow partners at Miami Beach police and our officers which assisted in breaking the windows and extracting the victim from the vehicle. They could have lost their lives and our officers were very heroic in extracting those people,” said Cruz.
Cruz said this crash could have gone another way.

“This could have been tragic if the family who lives in the home would have been in their backyard or in the pool as this vehicle went at a high rate of speed through their backyard,” he said.

“I saw my backyard and I just can’t believe it went over the pool and hit a piling, a column that supports my son’s bedroom on the second floor. He could have landed on our terrace or in our living room,” said Nouel.

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Cruz said they will investigate if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.