A head-on crash in Islamorada involving a car and a taxi killed a Miami woman and sent two others to South Florida hospitals.
The crash happened around 5:30 p.m. Monday at mile marker 89.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a man and a woman in a Honda Element were first involved in a rear-end crash four miles away, drove away from the scene heading north, then slammed into a southbound taxi waiting to make a turn.
The Honda came to rest against a utility pole. The engine of the Mom’s Taxi minivan caught fire.
The crash closed the stretch of road for five hours.
Didier Kichner Miles, 24, and Kristen Marie Rivera, 22, were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Miles is in serious condition and Rivera died at the hospital.
Charles Akullian, 71, the driver of the Dodge Caravan taxi, was taken to Mariners Hospital in the Keys in serious condition.
According to a witness who said he did not want to be identified, the woman in the Honda Element pulled out of U.S. 1 and rear-ended the witness’ car. When he approached her to get her insurance information, she asked the witness if he would instead accept money for the damage done to his car.
The witness declined her offer and turned around to get something out of his car. In that time, the woman switched seats with her male passenger. The driver then drove off and collided with the taxi.
FHP is investigating the crash. Islamorada Fire-Rescue treated the injured at the scene.