Driver dies after slamming into home
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (WSVN) -- A car careened into a South Florida home early Monday morning, instantly killing the driver and seriously injuring a passenger.
Investigators said the driver of a black Buick smashed into the front of Allen Burrow's home at about 1 a.m. "The car ran into my house and my car," said the homeowner.
He and his wife bolted from their home after the crash. Police said 37-year-old Julian Lamar Mitchell lost control of his Buick before careening into a light pole and then partially into the house. "The vehicle subsequently caught fire. The fire was extinguished by the fire crews and two occupants were removed," said Miami-Dade Fire Captain Brian Dula. "It appears that one has been deceased, and the second one has been transported to the hospital."
The impact ejected Mitchell from behind the wheel, and he died on scene. Distraught family members arrived, and some broke down in tears at the horror of it all.
The crash also woke up neighbors and knocked out power on the 1900 block of Opa-Locka Boulevard. "I heard a rrrrrr," said one neighbor, as he imitated the high-pitched squeal of rubber braking, "and then a bam!"
"Terrible, terrible," said another woman, speaking through translator, who also heard the noise.
Burrow and his neighbors spent the remainder of the chilly morning sitting outdoors in fold-out chairs, dressed in sleep wear and covered in blankets, as police continued to investigate the scene.
Burrow said he tried to put out the blaze before authorities arrived. "I got the fire extinguisher, tried to put out the fire as best as I could, wasn't helping," he said. "By that time, police got here quick, fire trucks got here quick, they put out everything."
His doorway has now been left charred. Burrow noted, this marks the second time a car has crashed into his house. He believes a sharp curve in the road might have also played a role.
Investigators are now trying to determine what caused the crash. They believe alcohol is to blame. "They reason they do suspect alcohol is involved is simply because of the fact that they had just come from a local bar," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
Just after noon, Florida Power and Light continued to work on restoring power to the area.
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