Woman, child waiting at bus stop hit by car in Oakland Park

A woman and her child were rushed to a hospital after a car veered onto a sidewalk and slammed into a bus stop where the two were waiting.

It happened about 2:30 p.m. Sunday along North Andrews Avenue and 39th Street in Oakland Park.

The tan-colored car was seen with its front end smashed, and a baby stroller could be seen in the middle of the debris.

“He just ran into the bus stop where the people were sitting at,” witness Yendell Grullon said. “I do know there was a lady that got hit with her baby.”

The woman was reported to have suffered a severe leg injury. The child did not appear to be seriously injured.

“It definitely could’ve been a lot worse. They could all be dead,” Grullon said. “Hopefully everybody is fine. That’s what we all pray for.”

The driver of the car was seen speaking with investigators at the crash site. One witness told Local 10 that the unidentified man initially ran away on foot but was convinced to return by a good Samaritan, but Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives have not confirmed that information.

The driver was interviewed for several hours and cited for the crash but was not arrested.

The condition of the mother and child recovering in the hospital have not been released.

It’s unclear what caused the vehicle to veer off the road.

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Could Florida voters get chance to ban semiautomatic rifles?

On “This Week in South Florida” with Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg, several Broward County leaders called for a question on the 2020 Florida ballot to ask voters to ban semi-automatic weapons.  

Coral Springs Mayor Skip Cambell and former state Sen. Chris Smith, a member of the constitution revision commission, weighed in after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Many of the student survivors of the Parkland shooting have pressed state lawmakers to ban weapons like the AR-15 rifle used by gunman Nikolas Cruz. Multiple attempts to bring a ban to the Florida House and Senate floors failed during the previous legislation session.

Now many South Florida officials said that if lawmakers refuse to act then voters should decide the issue.

Sixty-two percent of voters favored a ban on “assault weapons” in a recent Quinnipiac University poll. However, the term “assault weapons” can cover a wide range of weapons and it’s unclear if the poll respondents would support banning all semiautomatic weapons.

“We’re not trying to take everybody’s guns away. We’re not trying to say that people should not have their Second Amendment rights,” Campbell said.  “We’re just trying to say that certain weapons were not considered by our founders when they started the Second Amendment, and they should not be used in civilian population.”

Smith said he supported the referendum idea, but he acknowledged that the effort faces an uphill battle to get onto the ballot.

“You can keep your handguns. You can keep your rifles that shoot less than 10 rounds at a time. But at some point, you got to look at it and stop trying to pigeon-hole everything as it wouldn’t have stopped this tragedy.” Smith said.

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Man arrested accused of killing father, son in hit-and-run crash

Miami-Dade County Police have arrested a man accused of killing a father and son in a hit-and-run crash along the Dolphin Expressway last month.

Earl Lewis, 32, faces charges including leaving the scene of a fatal crash, driving without a license and grand theft auto.

Court records indicated that Lewis was arrested via an out-of-county warrant.

Jose Cepeda, 57, and Cesar Cepeda, 34, were attending to a disabled vehicle on the side of State Road 836 on Feb. 9 when they were struck and killed by a passing car driven by Lewis. Police said Lewis then fled the scene in Jose Cepeda’s SUV. It was later found abandoned in Homestead.

Before the hit-and-run crash, Cesar Cepeda had been involved in an accident on State Road 836 and called his father and authorities for help. Jose Cepeda arrived within minutes to help his son.

“He died protecting his son. My father-in-law loved his children,”  Josephine Sandelis-Cepeda said of Jose Cepeda last month. “These men are honorable men, kings in our family.”

Lewis is currently being held at Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on more than $2 million bond.

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Sleeping Lauderhill woman gets jolt when car crashes into her bedroom

If it weren’t for her bedroom dresser against the wall, a Lauderhill woman said she would have been dead.

Just before 5 a.m. Sunday, the woman was asleep in her home in 3300 block of Northwest 75th Terrace when a Volkswagen Passat bulldozed through her bedroom wall.

Still shaken up, she didn’t want to be identified for this story.

“When I heard the hissing sound, I realized someone was in the car and I immediately called 911,” the woman said.

According to the homeowner, the driver lives in the neighborhood.  

“He went home. As if his car was parked in his designated parking spot and he went home,” she said.

A woman who answered the door at the driver’s home said the man was in the hospital.

Neighbors said this street often seems like a racing zone.

“Sometimes I hear the vehicle — fast car and loud exhaust pipes,” Boris Brown said.

The homeowner has been out of work from surgery. Now her bedroom is left in shambles after the rest of her home was damaged in Hurricane Irma.

But she’s now focused on what she has, not what she has lost.

“Well I have my life. Everything is replaceable. It’s just an inconvenience,” the woman said.

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Sixth victim of FIU bridge collapse identified as cleanup winds down

The sixth and final victim in last week’s deadly Florida International University bridge collapse has been identified as Brandon Brownfield, his wife said Sunday.

“The coming days are going to be excruciating, as we dig deep to find the strength we need to heal,”  Chelsea Brownfield said in a Facebook post. “Please keep us in your prayers, as I now have to find the words and the answers to tell my girls that their daddy is not coming home.”

Brownfield, a father of three who worked in the crane industry, was driving home from work when the bridge collapsed on Thursday. Ryan Lee, a friend who created a GoFundMe.com page for the family, said Brownfield and his wife had just bought a home in Homestead.

Late Saturday, rescue crews pulled the final bodies and cars from the rubble of the 950-ton bridge at Southwest Eighth Street near Southwest 109th Avenue.

Although authorities had feared the death toll would go up as rescuers pulled away the rubble, Miami-Dade County Police Director Juan Perez said six people were found in the debris.

“I believe that is the final count,” Perez said. “This ends with a tragedy of six. … We are pretty confident that no one is left.”

On Saturday, police identified the other five victims as Alberto Arias, 53, Navaro Brown, 37, Alexa Duran, 18, Rolando Fraga, 60, and Oswald Gonzalez, 57.

“They had to break this thing into little pieces to get it off my niece,” Joe Smitha, Alexa Duran’s uncle, said of the collapsed bridge. 

Eight people are still being treated at Kendall Regional Medical Center after being pulled from the rubble.

The bridge, which was to connect the FIU campus with the city of Sweetwater, was set to open next year. Using modular construction methods, the main span was assembled off-site and moved into place last weekend like a piece of a puzzle to avoid closing traffic on Eighth Street.

FIU touted it as the largest pedestrian bridge in the nation to ever use the innovative method. When the bridge collapsed, the tall tower that was designed to hold the cables attached to the platform had not been installed.

The National Transportation Safety Board was on the scene of the collapse collecting evidence this weekend as more details emerged that warnings about the bridge had gone unheeded. Investigators said the bridge collapsed as workers were conducting a stress test.

An engineer on the project left a voice mail that warned the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) about cracks on the bridge before the collapse, but the official who received the message was out of town and didn’t open the message until a day after the collapse. 


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The state has sought to distance itself from the project, saying that it was an FIU project.

However, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stressed on Saturday that FDOT was a major player in the construction of the bridge. 

Rubio said the local municipality and FIU didn’t have the in-house capacity to manage a project of this magnitude and were partnered with an agency that could.

“In this case, $16 million was given, and FDOT was the managing entity for the purpose of the funding,” Rubio said.

Matt Morgan, an Orlando lawyer, said on Twitter that he planned to file a civil suit related to the bridge collapse on Monday. 

“It is imperative we act quickly to secure critical documentation and data,” Morgan said.

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