After stealing a car in Miami Beach, a driver sped across the 79th Street Causeway before causing a violent crash that seriously injured himself and his passenger and left another car in two pieces, police said Sunday.
The suspect, who police have not identified, was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center with facial and head trauma. He was charged with driving with a suspended license/grand theft auto, operating a vehicle without a license, causing bodily harm and reckless driving.
His passenger, who was also airlifted to Ryder, remained in the hospital in critical condition.
A man in the 1988 Mitsubishi Starion that was sheared in half “miraculously survived,” Miami Fire Rescue Spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll said.
“When you see the car, it’s amazing that he only had a few scratches and bloody lip,” Carroll said.
Sometime early Sunday, the car-theft suspect stole a 2004 beige Nissan Sentra, and with a passenger in tow, sped away, said Miami police spokeswoman Frederica Burden.
“He was definitely driving recklessly,” she said.
As the driver “weaved in and out of traffic” on the causeway, Burden said the car clipped the back of the Starion, causing the driver to lose control and slam into a tree at about 8 a.m. just east of Pelican Harbor near North Bay Village.
The Starion’s engine compartment remained in the median, but the other half landed in the westbound lanes. Car parts littered the street.
The Sentra also hit a tree and landed in the eastbound lanes. According to Carroll, investigators had reports that a third person was in the Sentra but took off. Burden could not confirm whether another person was involved.
The man in the Starion remained at the crash scene to talk to investigators.
Police continue to investigate the stolen car and the violent crash.
“It’s amazing that he was able to walk away and talk to investigators,” said Burden of the Starion’s driver. “He’s very lucky.”