Miami-Dade County

Man convicted in West Miami-Dade crash that killed three

A young man who killed three friends during a spur-of-the-moment car race that ended in a horrific crash in West Miami-Dade faces up to 75 years in prison after he was convicted Friday of vehicular homicide.

Jurors deliberated just two hours in convicting Alberto de Jesús Coterón Oliva, 22, for the deaths of his friends in August 2011.

He will be sentenced sometime in the coming months.

The teens killed in the crash: Verónica Santiago, 17, Isis Maciel Jiménez, 15 and Daniel Cárdenas, 17.

They had been hanging out with Coterón at the Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater that night and decided to go for a ride in Coterón’s 1994 Honda Civic.

But just before 11 p.m., Coterón tried racing against a black Infiniti near Northwest 12th Street and 99th Avenue, losing control and crashing into a light post, a collision that split the car in two. He later ran from the scene before returning.

During the three-day trial, prosecutors Jessie Friedman and Elena Doyle presented evidence that Coterón was going between 76 miles per hour and 88 miles per hour, well above the speed limit.

Coterón’s defense: He never drove that fast, and his car was bumped off the road by another car.

At the time of his crash, Coterón had no criminal record, but had been fined 16 times for traffic violations, including driving without a license, driving with a suspended license and driving with a noisy exhaust pipe.