Miami-Dade County

Driver seriously injured after 20-foot drop off Miami expressway in SUV

A driver trying to avoid a box on Interstate 95 Thursday morning crashed over a cement guardrail in her SUV and plummeted about 20 feet before landing on an embankment below, Miami Fire Rescue Spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll said.

The woman, identified by the Florida Highway Patrol as Dayamid Matos, had to be cut from the crushed vehicle after it landed on its roof. Carroll said the woman suffered injuries to her face, but she was able to communicate with rescuers.

“It was a miracle that she didn’t suffer more life-threatening injuries,” Carroll said. The woman, in her early 40s, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The SUV was only feet away from a sidewalk where kids walk to nearby schools and near busy Northwest 17th Street, Carroll said.

“She’s very lucky it landed where it did,” he said.

According to FHP spokesman Joe Sanchez, a witness saw the woman swerve as she drove north on I-95 past State Road 836 at about 7 a.m Thursday.

The out-of-control SUV chipped the concrete guard-rail, but left it mainly intact.

Carroll said when rescuers arrived they found the red Ford Explorer impaled on a fence post. The passenger side of the car took the hardest impact, Carroll said. Matos was the SUV’s sole occupant.

He said the rescue took about five minutes and needed some heavy tools to get the woman out of the car.

The crash happened a few minutes after Thursday’s 6:57 a.m. sunrise. That helped in the rescue effort, Carroll said.

“If it was at night, who knows if someone would have seen her go down.”