Residents near the eastbound Dolphin Expressway and LeJeune Road were jolted awake by a loud bang early Friday when a 2014 speeding white Porsche careened out of control, smashed through a guardrail and plunged into a canal, killing the driver and passenger.
The accident happened shortly before 2 a.m. when the two-door Porsche Carerra crossed several lanes, collided with the inside guardrail, traveled some 500 feet, splitting it in half, according to Joe Sanchez of the Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP investigators identified the driver as Hector E. Cartagena, 34, and his passenger, Wilmer Alexander Espana, 26, both of Miami.
The Porsche was traveling at “a high rate of speed,” Sanchez said. It was completely submerged in the water. Crews pulled the mangled car from the water after 6 a.m.
The accident shut down the busy expressway, which did not reopen until four hours later – just before 7 a.m., in time for the morning rush hour.
The darkness and murky water inhibited police divers from finding the spot swere led to the spot where the car went in by debris and witnesses.
Vinicio Marmolejos, who lives nearby, told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 he heard a “loug bang” and came outside. He saw smoke and water bubbling, and later helped rescuers find the wreck spot.
“Fire rescue started the search in the water,” Miami Fire-Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll told CBS4. “We came across what we’ve identified as a Porsche that was submerged in the water. When divers went in, we found one victim that was unresponsive,” Carroll said. The second victim was found outside in the water.
One of the victims apparently died on impact; the other died later at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Miami Herald news partner CBS4 contributed to this report.