Driver kills 2 outside Miami restaurant
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The man who police said drove his pickup truck into a restaurant and killed two people appeared in bond court Monday morning.
According to police, Antonio Lawrence was drunk when his Ford F-150 lost control and slammed into 60-year-old Wilton Harris and 61-year-old Aljo Hamlin. He has been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter.
The fatal accident occurred Saturday night at Jumbo's Restaurant located at 7501 NW 7 Ave. in the City of Miami.
Witnesses said the impact pushed the victim's black pickup truck through the restaurant's front window and sent one of the men flying. "When the truck hit his truck, it pushed them into the glass and sent him right through the restaurant," said witness Addi LeBlanc.
Both men died at the scene.
Harris' wife said she is in shock. "I'm right now numb, numb, because of the suddenness of it," said Renee Harris. "Every day that he got up, every walking day of his life, it was about witnessing and praising God."
According to witnesses, the driver, who was northbound on Northwest Seventh Avenue, sped up just before the intersection of 75th Street. "They were standing in the middle of the door and we heard the car coming northbound, it look like he was going 100 mph and trying to make this sharp turn," said the victim's friend, Demetrius Allen.
Another witness said the suspect seemed to be dazed. "He got out and then after five minutes he got out the car and then he saw the guy on the floor and was like, 'Oh my God,'" said a man who saw the fatal accident.
Ken Knight was with the pastor and deacon when the accident happened and is grateful to be alive. "To stand here is a miracle, because we were all there together and somehow God chose to spare our lives," said Ken Knight.
According to police, Harris and Hamlin had just presided over a funeral for a man who worked at Jumbo's. None of the 11 people inside the restaurant were injured.
The restaurant's owner, Bobby Flam, said Harris and Hamlin were regulars at Jumbo's. "These two guys, who we're gonna miss a lot, were here every day of the week. Pastor Harris and Deacon Al were here in the morning, afternoon and night," said Flam. "Lovable guys, as courteous as they can be. Loved the community, loved their fellow man, loved their churches."
Police believe Lawrence was at least three times over the legal limit. They also found a half-full bottle of Brandy in Lawrence's vehicle. He is being held on a $30,000 bond.
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