Out-of-control driver back in the Keys to face charges after deadly crash in mud hole

A Hialeah Gardens woman with an extensive arrest history in the Florida Keys is being held on $1 million bond in connection to a 2021 car crash in the Lower Keys that killed a 13-year-old girl and permanently injured a man.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators arrested 25-year-old Aaliyah Maria Alberto on Thursday on felony charges of negligent vehicular homicide, driving without a license and giving law enforcement false statements.

Alberto was the driver of a 2006 Cadillac CTS sedan that was speeding along a rural Sugarloaf Key road and heading against traffic on April 29, 2021. She lost control of the car and hit a tree before the vehicle stopped in a muddy marsh that was made even boggier by a water pipe that burst in the crash, according to an FHP arrest report.

One of her two passengers, a man highway troopers named in the report as Jackson Stanley, 20, was ejected in the crash. Troopers say in the report he suffered “physical and psychological” injuries in the crash and “has never been the same.”

Alberto got out of the car with minor injuries, but trapped inside was 13-year-old Jaselle Isabella Diaz, the report states. Firefighters had to stand on ladders to avoid getting stuck in the mud as they removed the Cadillac’s roof to try to rescue the teen.

Both Diaz and Stanley were riding in the back of the car when it crashed, according to the report.

Diaz was airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital near South Miami, where she died, according to the report. FHP Master Sgt. Pedro Reinoso told the Miami Herald/ that the girl was “an acquaintance” of Alberto’s.

In the hours leading up to the tragedy, troopers said Alberto, who never had a driver’s license and failed the written driving test three times, picked Diaz up from Horace O’Bryant School in Key West.

From there, Alberto, Stanley and Diaz went to the Beachfront Marriott hotel in Key West, where they were seen on security camera viewed by investigators drinking alcohol out of what appeared to be “laboratory test tubes.” They then went to a Circle K gas station on their way to what’s known locally as the “jumping bridge” on Sugarloaf Boulevard on Sugarloaf Key, an island about 25 miles northeast of Key West.

The bridge is a popular spot where people jump off into a deep canal. Troopers wrote in their arrest report that the three “never reached their destination.”

Around 6:30 p.m., Alberto was driving the Cadillac at around 50 to 60 mph down Old State Road 4a, which has a posted speed limit of 25 mph, when she lost control of the car and crashed.

At the scene of the crash, Alberto learned that Diaz died in the hospital. It was only then that she requested medical attention, according to the report. She also lied to troopers and Monroe County sheriff’s deputies and said there was a fourth occupant in the car, the report states.

Firefighters used heat radar to search the marsh for the “phantom” person before realizing he or she didn’t exist, the report states.

Paramedics took Alberto to Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island, where she ran to a waiting car and was driven out of the Keys by a friend, investigators said.

She was brought back from out-of-state to the Keys to face the charges. It was not immediately clear where from where or when she was brought back to Monroe County.

Alberto has been arrested several times in the Florida Keys on felony charges including fraud, larceny, burglary and driving without a valid license, according to the Monroe County Clerk of the Court.

Information on Alberto’s legal representation was not immediately available.