A City of Miami dump truck slammed into the rear of a taxicab Friday afternoon, killing the female passenger and setting off a chain reaction that sent seven other people to nearby Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami police said.
Four of the hospitalized — the dump truck driver, taxi driver and two passengers of one car — were in serious condition, according to police.
The crash was captured on video from the Bowl Bar liquor store and club on the southwest corner of Northwest Seventh Street and 17th Avenue.
Eight cars, the dump truck, a ContinueCare/MetCare transport bus, a scooter and a light pole were spread in varying degrees of disintegration around the intersection of Northwest Seventh Street and 17th Avenue, a block from Marlins Park. Each vehicle bore a painted-on number as traffic homicide investigators pieced together the crash.
Area residents and workers say they hear sudden braking so often that they regularly marvel to each other that they don’t see more accidents. Friday’s crash brought no introductory screech of brakes, just instant noise, then near silence during several hours of cleanup.
“Like a bomb. Like a big bomb,” said Frank Gonzalez, who was working at the Valero gas station car wash on the intersection’s northwest corner.
Eunice Diaz, director of The Candy House Day Care Center one block away, said through an interpreter that the crash sounded like when the Orange Bowl came down, “a BOOM.” The day care center’s adults ran to the windows to see what had happened while nap time continued for the children.
Miami police officer Kenia Fallat said the taxicab burst into flames at one point. The taxicab passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was being withheld until detectives notified next of kin.
Clearly shaken, Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso put a video statement on YouTube late Friday afternoon.
“I did see the video and I think that like many other folks, anybody who would see the video would be disturbed by the violent nature of the crash,” Alfonso said. “Our hearts go out to the family members of those people who have been injured. We wish those people get well as soon as possible. To the family of the deceased, I wish there’s comfort for them.”
Police shut off Seventh Street from 14th Avenue to 18th Avenue and closed 17th Avenue from Sixth Street to 11th Street into the early evening. Workers at area businesses wandered outside their shops every now and then to watch the cleanup. Gonzalez poured Cokes for his co-workers as they sat under an awning.