Two drivers speeding along Northwest North River Drive as families prepared to sit for Thanksgiving dinner might have been racing, witnesses told police Friday.
The resulting crash Thursday afternoon near Allapattah, likened to a bomb going off, killed one of the drivers, Trevor Chambers, 36, and his 2-year-old daughter Adison, who was seated in the back of his black Mercedes. The child’s mother, Marilyn Leon, 29, trapped in the car, was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center with severe burns. She was still in critical but stable condition Friday evening
The other driver, Carlos Gutierrez, 50, was able to escape his Honda Civic with minor burns with help from Alex Garcia, who was working in a body shop across the street when he heard the explosive crash. Garcia ran to the wreckage and managed to help Gutierrez escape before Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighters and paramedics arrived. Rescue workers had to douse the intense flames before they were able to open the Mercedes.
Surveillance video shows the two cars side by side and skidding out of control, narrowly missing a Miami-Dade Transit bus. Moments later, out of range of the video, the Mercedes and Honda became engulfed in flames.
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On Friday, the child’s aunt, Vanessa Leon, told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that the family was to be together for Thanksgiving dinner but they never arrived. The child’s mother, Marilyn, Vanessa’s sister, can’t remember much about the events that led to the tragedy, Leon said. “She just says she wishes she could have done more for the baby but couldn’t.”
Miami-Dade police are still investigating the crash, which happened around 3 p.m. Thursday at 2947 NW North River Dr. No charges have been filed.
“Spread on the table, getting ready to have Thanksgiving, getting ready to sit down and do our blessings, and a phone call comes in that a toddler lost her life in a traffic crash,” Miami-Dade Det. Alvaro Zabaleta told CBS4. “It puts a damper on everything.”
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