Crime

A stolen car, a speeding driver, a crash, an explosion — and death

The scene on Northwest 103rd Street the morning after a fatal crash.
The scene on Northwest 103rd Street the morning after a fatal crash. dneal@miamiherald.com

A 19-year-old speeding in a stolen car blew through a red light at Northwest 103rd Street and 22nd Avenue, crashed into another car, sending the second car tumbling into a business. A fatal explosion ignited.

Miami-Dade police say the driver of the second car died inside the burning, upside down car in the Gitmo American Transmissions parking lot. That person’s name hadn’t been released as of Tuesday evening.

The 19-year-old, Lanard Gilbert of Homestead, was arrested on charges of vehicular homicide/reckless manner, knowingly driving with license suspended, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The firearm was stolen as well, police said.

Gilbert had a month left on the six months’ probation he received in September for firearms possession and resisting arrest without violence.

The crash closed the intersection until late Tuesday morning. The silence at the traffic-less corner was broken only by the faint sounds of Miami Park Elementary singing the national anthem to start the day. On the street rested the charred visuals: the upside down car, another car that had been in the parking lot, one of Gitmo American’s outer walls.

According to Gilbert’s arrest affidavit, he drew the attention of Opa-locka police Monday night by speeding down 22nd Avenue in a 2010 Acura. An Opa-locka officer ran the license plate and discovered the car had been reported stolen in Pembroke Pines on Feb. 9. He lost Gilbert around 109th Street. Gilbert, meanwhile, blew the light and T-boned the other car, according to police.

Carlos Valdez lives near the corner of Northwest 103rd and 22nd Avenue and heard a "BOOM" late Monday night. But it's not an unusual sound.

“Every two or three months, a car loses control and crashes into the transmission place,” Valdez said. “But this is a big one.”

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc

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