A person driving a pickup truck who was speeding away from an officer checking out a theft at a nearby convenience store slammed into a work van Friday morning in a Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood, killing a person and critically injuring the van’s driver and passenger, police said.
A man in the pickup truck died, Miami-Dade police said, and two others got out of the truck and ran away. Officers were looking for them as of late Friday afternoon. Police didn’t say whether the man killed was driving the truck.
The crash happened around 8 a.m. at the corner of Southwest 97th Avenue and 21st Street, Detective Andre Martin, a police spokesman, told reporters near the crash site.
Police say it all started when a Miami-Dade County Schools police officer responded to reports of people stealing from a convenience store somewhere on Southwest 87th Avenue.
When the three people suspected of stealing noticed the officer at the store, they got into the pickup truck and sped off, Martin said. There is no indication that the officer pursued the vehicle, but he canvassed the area and came upon the crash, Martin added.
“The crash was pretty horrific, so there’s a good chance the two individuals who fled are injured,” Martin said.
A Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson said the officer was off-duty at the time. He was informed of a crime nearby, responded and then reported the crash.
He was not part of a chase or pursuit, the school district said.
CBS News Miami footage showed a mangled silver pickup truck flipped on its side on the driveway of a house and a white van with front-end damage on the sidewalk.
A woman who said she is the mother-in-law of the van driver told the Herald that his condition is improving. She did not want to be named.
Another woman, Elizabeth Cepero, said she lives two blocks from where the crash occurred. She said the neighborhood is quiet, but that Southwest 92nd Avenue is a dangerous road.
“There have been several bad accidents here,” Cepero said. “They go so fast, they lose control.”
Anyone with information regarding this crash is urged to call Miami-Dade & the Florida Keys Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or 866-471-8477, or visit crimestoppersmiami.com.
Miami Herald reporter Devoun Cetoute contributed to this report.
This bulletin will be updated once more information becomes available.