Authorities have arrested a 17-year-old driver who crashed a Porsche into trees and a light pole on New Year’s Day, killing a college student who was riding in the back seat of the car.
Isaias Medina, a student at Columbus High, was charged Tuesday with vehicular homicide.
Prosecutors argued that Medina, a native of Venezuela who lives in a sprawling condo penthouse on Key Biscayne, was a flight risk. A Miami-Dade judge allowed him to return home after surrendering his passport.
He was arrested initially as a juvenile and must now await trial, or possible charges as an adult.
Never miss a local story.
Miami-Dade police say Medina crashed his silver Porsche on a curve in the 700 block of Harbor Drive about 7:45 a.m. Jan. 1.
Killed in the crash was Daniela Benavides Sanmiguel, 18, a recent Gulliver Preparatory School graduate who was a freshman at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. He and Mathew Saldana, 17, who was in the front passenger seat, were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center with head injuries.
All three teens lived on Key Biscayne.
According to warrants obtained by the Miami Herald, the investigation revealed that Medina was driving at least 60 mph — twice the posted speed limit. Surveillance footage showed that Medina did not slow down but actually accelerated as he hit the curve, the warrant said.
Medina also did not have a driver’s license.
At the scene, police detectives found a blood-smeared bag containing a Xanax bar — the often abused prescription drug — and marijuana, according to the warrant. A toxicology test later revealed that his blood contained Xanax and a high concentration of marijuana that suggested he has smoked between one and three hours before the crash, according to an arrest warrant.
Medina, however, was not charged with DUI manslaughter.
Saldana told detectives that he and Medina had attended several New Year’s Eve parties — going from home to home on a golf cart — but denied using any drugs or alcohol that night.
But that morning, Medina wanted to “show off” for Benavides and took them for the ill-fated ride in his family’s Porsche.