A man driving the wrong direction in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 early Sunday morning in downtown Miami slammed head-on into another car, killing the driver and critically injuring her mother and brother, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The wrong-way driver, identified as Franklin Chavez, 24, was also critically injured.
“We have witnesses saying he was going the wrong way,” FHP spokesman Joe Sanchez said.
According to the FHP, Chavez was heading south in the center lane in a Toyota Yaris, just before the exit to Biscayne Boulevard, when he hit a Honda Civic carrying a mother and her two adult children. The impact sent the Yaris into the concrete barrier wall, and the Civic came to a final rest blocking the left two lanes, facing west.
The driver of the Civic, Carmen Criales, 23, died at the scene of the crash. Her passengers, Elisa Diaz, 48, and Bryan Criales, 22, were taken to Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.
“It was a really nasty crash,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez said the crash should serve as a warning for other drivers.
“We are trying to educate drivers that the reflectors are there for a reason,” he said. “If they are red, you are going the wrong way.”