A boy was killed and girl was injured on their way to class Tuesday morning near North Miami Senior High when a car struck them just before school-zone hours.
Police blocked Northeast 135th Street between Sixth and Eighth avenues as the morning rush hour began. A body covered with a blanket was in the middle of the street.
“That hurts. My body is numb,” said relative Sherly Remy.
Police said the students were hit by a gray Chevrolet sedan at Northeast Seventh Avenue. The driver stayed on the scene and is cooperating, said North Miami police spokeswoman Annmarie Cardona.
The teens were struck around 6:30 a.m., 15 minutes before school zone hours. School starts at 7:20 a.m. The driver’s speed is under investigation.
The injured girl was airlifted to the hospital and is in stable condition, Cardona said. Family members identified the dead teen as 16-year-old Henry Claude Touissant.
“Can you imagine saying goodnight to your boy and the next morning he’s dead?” said Remy, who is the wife of the cousin of Henry’s father, Claude.
Family and friends retreated to nearby Fraternity Baptist Church.
Some parents picked up their children early after hearing of the tragedy. Drop-off for a nearby middle school was re-routed around the scene.
A student said grief counselors arrived at the high school and went to the third-floor media center.
“The entire Miami-Dade County Public Schools family joins the North Miami Senior High School family in mourning the tragic loss of one of our students in an accident this morning,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the student's family and for the speedy recovery of the other students involved.”
While police swarmed the area, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue paramedics treated a man slumped against a fence, who Remy identified as Henry’s father.
“He’s a good boy, the best boy you could raise,” Remy said. “That’s why you see his Daddy on the floor.”
She said Henry’s father, in shock at the news of the death of his only son, fell and injured himself. The boy’s mother, who lives in Haiti, found out shortly after and called the father, sobbing.
Remy said Henry worked a part-time job so she could send money to support his mother. Claude has two younger daughters.
Police declined to release the name of the driver, the speed the car was traveling or indicate if alcohol was involved in the crash.
“It’s a preliminary investigation,” Cardona said.
This article will be updated when more information becomes available.
Follow me on Twitter @harrisalexc for updates.