Police chase ends in wrong-way wreck, 4 killed
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities are investigating a police pursuit that ended in a wrong-way wreck on Interstate 95 near Ives Dairy Road, killing four innocent people.
Many questions remain in this accident. Why did these four people have to die in such an awful way? Why did the man need to speed the wrong way on the highway? What was his beef with police, and did police pursue that man correctly? These are all questions connected to a very tragic day on I-95.
The police pursuit began at around 1 a.m. Wednesday in Opa-Locka, on Northwest 143rd Street and 22nd Avenue. The chase ensued when the subject got on I-95 after tossing a gun out of a Chevy Suburban. "A gun was found," noted City Manager David Chiverton at an afternoon press conference. "The officer observed it as he exited Ives Diary ... and that weapon was found by other law enforcement officers."
Investigators said the subject then got back on I-95 southbound in the Suburban. According to detectives, police pursued the subject until he changed directions on the highway and started heading north while still in the southbound lanes of I-95. "As the suspect exited Ives Dairy Road, and the officer was still behind him, and he turned to come on to the southbound traffic going to northbound, our officer was not behind him at that time," noted Chiverton. "Right now, what I know about the chase is he backed off. Outside of that, I wouldn't be able to comment. I believe he followed policy at this time. The investigation is ongoing."
That officer, said Chiverton, has been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The accident closed southbound I-95 at Hallandale Beach Boulevard for more than seven hours. The medical examiner's office removed two bodies from the road and wreckage. Two other bodies were left inside the pancaked van, which was collected, engine and other parts, picked up and hauled off. "If you were anyone with a human heart, your heart would bleed out for them," said Opa-Locka's Police Chief Jeffrey Key.
The impact split the mini-van open and ejected the engine of the Chevy Suburban. "Let me just say that I've been doing this for about 25 years, and this is one of the worst accidents that I've seen," said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez.
Rescue crews transported the subject to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood with two broken legs. Chiverton said he is in good condition and will face several charges once he is discharged from the hospital.
No one involved in this crash has been identified as police continue to investigate. All Chiverton would say about the suspect is that he does have a criminal record.
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