Little Havana / Flagami

Marlins Park

Driver of the van that killed three family members after Marlins game identified

 

A family from Georgia was struck on the sidewalk after leaving Marlins Park

Miami Herald Staff

A red Dodge minivan jumped the curb and plowed into a Georgia family as they walked on a Little Havana sidewalk after leaving the Marlins game Saturday night, killing three family members and the van driver.

Killed were a 13-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy and a 50-year-old woman, who were all related.

The minivan driver, identified on Sunday as Raul Herberto Ortega Arias, 67, of Miami, also died. Ortega may have suffered a medical emergency prior to losing control of his van.

The four victims were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where they were pronounced dead.

A 10-year-old girl, who was also struck by the vehicle, remains in extremely critical condition at the hospital.

The victims’ names have not been released because police are trying to locate their next of kin. The relation between the victims is also unclear.

A man, who was walking with the family but was not injured, was so overcome with grief after the accident he too had to be hospitalized.

The accident occurred about 7:30 p.m. in front of an apartment building at 1760 NW Seventh St., about a block from the new Marlins Park.

The victims were among the fans streaming out of the stadium after the 4:10 p.m. game had ended in a victory for the Marlins over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Police said it appeared Ortega, behind the wheel of a 2006 Dodge Caravan, was eastbound on Northwest Seventh Street on the far right lane when he lost control of his vehicle and struck the family, headed westbound on the sidewalk.

Ortega rammed through metal handrails that line the apartment building’s entrance before striking the family on the sidewalk near the entrance to the parking garage.

A sixth person, a man passing by on a bicycle was also struck, but police said he was not seriously injured.

Neighbors said they heard the impact of the crash from inside their homes in the neighboring block. Then they heard the screams.

They said the man, the surviving member of the family, was despondent

“I think it was the grandfather who kept screaming and screaming,” said Osvaldo Romero, a neighbor.

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