Pedestrian struck, killed by SUV at MIA
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Fla. (WSVN) -- A pedestrian has died after he was struck by a sport utility vehicle at Miami International Airport, a collision that has investigators trying to determine whether or not the driver is responsible.
Miami-Dade Police blocked off part of the street outside Terminal H, between the gates for Delta and Aeromexico, while they investigated this fatal collision for several hours.
The crash took the life of a 51-year-old man who was returning from a business trip with a co-worker. It occurred sometime just after 12 p.m. Friday. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue also responded and unsuccessfully attempted to revive the victim with CPR. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A witness was riding in the white Chevy Blazer that allegedly killed the pedestrian. She said her friend was at the wheel when she struck the pedestrian, who had just exited Concourse H. "The pedestrian was attempting to walk across the concourse on the pedestrian crosswalk," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard.
The medical examiner's van arrived and picked up the body just before 1 p.m.
Detectives said that just because the pedestrian was struck while he was crossing the crosswalk does not automatically place the blame for the collision on the driver.
Investigators are trying to answer two central questions:
- Did the 51-year-old victim have his eyes on the road to make sure it was safe to start to cross?
- Did the driver have her eyes on the crosswalk to make sure there were no pedestrians in the way?
Whether the driver will be cited will depend on the outcome on the investigation.
According to the witness who was riding in the SUV, the driver, who was visibly shaken by the incident, said she is holding up well. "Yes, she's OK," said the witness.
Police spoke to the woman behind the wheel of the sport utility vehicle, and she was allowed to drive away from the scene with family members after talking to detectives for over an hour.
Beforehand, investigators conducted a thorough examination of the crash site. They also interviewed witnesses to determine if the driver or the victim were paying attention to a cell phone instead of the surroundings.
The investigation, however, continues, as detectives attempt to determine whether the driver failed to yield to the crosswalk.
According to Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard, it does not look like the driver was speeding. "At this time, it does not appear that speed was a factor," she said. "If you look at the distance from the vehicle to the crosswalk, it was a short distance."
A traveler who walked by the scene said she was shocked by news of the collision. "You're going back to your home, and you just get [killed]," she said.
Flyer Rod Moore said the accident serves as a reminder to stay alert to your surroundings. "That call can wait, and that text can wait," he said. "Slow down, take your time, think about getting to that destination."
South Florida airport officials have been on the scene of two other fatal accidents in the last 10 months. A woman was run over by a bus at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in May after she tripped on the curbside, and in December a tour bus slammed into an overpass at MIA, killing three people on board.
When it comes to these incidents, MIA director of security Lauren Stover said they have measures in place for any emergency scenario imaginable. "Unfortunately, we do have protocols for tragic incidences like this," she said. "Our landside operations team immediately was able to close off the area. The police responded immediately. The fire department responded within minutes to offer assistance to the victim."
Stover added traveler safety is their top priority. "We go over and beyond to make areas as visible for people walking across the crosswalk," she said.
Police have not released the names of the victim or the driver in this incident. Due to the high volume of evidence detectives have collected, it remains unknown how long it will take for them to complete their investigation.
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