MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Florida man is now charged with vehicular homicide in a deadly wrong-way crash on I-95 early Tuesday morning.
Irwin Rockwell, 38, of Ochopee, was denied bond on Friday.READ MORE: New Daily Virus Cases In Florida Lowest Since July
According to a police arrest affidavit, he was driving a 2017 Silver Equinox SUV heading south in the northbound I-95 express lanes near the Golden Glades interchange when he slammed head-on into a 2019 Subaru Outback around 5:00 a.m. at a high rate of speed on August 24.
The impact caused the Subaru to plummet off the flyover into the grassy area below, a fall of about 85 feet, equivalent to an eight-story building. It landed on its roof and then burst into flames.
A Road Ranger saw the Subaru on fire.
“The car was on fire the whole, the whole top of the car was on fire,” said Larry Cherry, the Road Ranger who has just wrapped up his shift.
Cherry said he pulled over and ran to the scene and called out to several other people who had stopped.
“I see the closest person, I just asked him the question I said ‘Did the people get out of the carnage’, you know, he said no but then he said they fell from the overpass,” he said.
“I said ‘Hello, is anybody there’ and I saw the backseat had a curtain in the window, and I saw the curtain starting to flicker, so I figured that someone was in there, so when I opened the backseat (door) I saw gentlemen inside of the car like he’d been launched into the backseat,” he addedREAD MORE: Spacex's 1st Tourists Homeward Bound After 3 Days In Orbit
Cherry managed to pull the passenger, Ed Williams Gonzalez Ayala, out of the vehicle to safety.
“I looked in the backseat I saw a child car seat. I flipped it but there was no child in the car seat. I looked in the front driver’s seat and I saw another gentleman in the driver’s seat but by that time the flames had already gotten to that side of the car, the driver side, but I could already see that he passed already,” said Cherry.
Unfortunately, he could not get to the driver before the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.
Gonzalez Ayala was taken to Aventura Hospital where he remains in critical condition.
The driver of the Subaru was too badly burned to be identified, according to police. The ME’s office is using dental records for identification.
Meanwhile Rockwell, according to the police report, was also taken to Aventura Hospital.
A trooper heard the defendant state he “stayed out a little too late the night before” and was on his way to Miccosukee,” according to the report, which also stated the trooper wasn’t sure if he meant the Miccosukee Resort or the reservation.
In addition, the report states, when searching Rockwell’s Equinox, officers “found a laptop on the driver seat with a credit card upside down partially under it, and an empty Modelo glass beer bottle on the driver seat.” Officers also noted the “distinct odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.”MORE NEWS: Report: Miami-Dade School District Misused $6M For Driver’s Ed Programs
Additional charges are pending against Rockwell depending on the toxicology report.