Homestead - South Dade

Woman who crashed SUV into South Dade High principal might have been intoxicated

Javier Perez
Javier Perez

The Miami-Dade Police accident report on the Tuesday crash at the Tamiami Park baseball fields that cost South Dade High School Principal Javier Perez his legs checked three significant boxes concerning SUV driver Marilyn Aguilera: reckless driving, speeding and possibly impaired by alcohol.

Students and staff rally behind injured South Dade High principal

Results for the alcohol blood test given to Aguilera are pending, according to the report, released Friday afternoon. Aguilera, 51, hasn’t been arrested or ticketed for the accident at this point.

Witnesses told police Aguilera’s 2003 GMC SUV veered off Southwest 117th Avenue, hit 39-year-old Ileana Salort-Horta as it crashed through a fence, then 74-year-old Elias Espinoza on the field where Perez was coaching his 5-year-old son’s youth baseball game. Finally, the SUV struck the 43-year-old Perez, a husband and father of two.

Perez’s injuries reportedly required amputation of both legs Thursday. A page has raised more than $83,000 as of Saturday afternoon for Perez’s medical expenses.

Elias Espinoza, a longtime friend of Perez, was on the baseball field talking to him when Perez yelled as he saw an SUV careening through a fence.

“He pushed me out of the way,” said the 74-year-old, who suffered less severe injuries when he was clipped by the vehicle. “To save me, he got hurt. But when it hit him, it caused the car to veer out of the way of the kids.”

Espinoza said that Perez's wife told him that his first words to her in the hospital were him asking if Espinoza was OK. When she told him he wasn't badly hurt, he smiled.

A group of 5-year-old Little Leaguers, including Perez’s son, were in the middle of a game when the accident happened.

Espinoza met Perez through baseball about 15 years ago, since Espinoza had a son who played high school ball and Perez was a fan.

“He is a perfect gentleman,” Espinoza said. “A man full of life.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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