Gas leak shuts down stretch of Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach

A stretch of Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach was closed early Thursday morning as road crews worked to contain a leak from a natural gas pipe, police said.

Officers said all north and southbound lanes between the 16700 block and 17200 block of Collins Avenue would be diverted while the repair work continued.

“It looks like this will be at least a partial traffic construction until late in the afternoon,”  Sgt. Brian Schnell said.  “We’ve got a bit of a plan in place, but the best plan is avoid Sunny Isles Beach.”

Drivers were urged to use the William Lehman Causeway, if possible. 

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7-year-old boy will have to learn to talk, walk again after Miami crash

A 7-year-old boy remains in the intensive care unit at Holtz Children’s Hospital after he got trapped under a dashboard during a crash earlier this month in Miami.

Branden Maitland, a first-grade student who loves basketball, is in stable condition, but he still has a long recovery.

He will have to learn to walk and talk again, but his family wants everyone to know that the young boy is a fighter.

The family’s world changed overnight April 3 when Branden was nearly killed in a collision that left him pinned under the dashboard of his grandfather’s car.

Since then, his parents have been by his side trying their best to help him move on from the incident, but it hasn’t been easy.

“He was sleeping and just started crying and saying, ‘No, no, no!’ I don’t know if he was having flashbacks,” Branden’s mother, Karen Maitland, said.  

Branden suffered multiple fractures throughout his body, and a ruptured kidney caused severe internal bleeding.

“(They) opened him to make sure no other organ was bleeding,” Maitland said.

It’s unclear whether Branden will ever walk again, but his condition is already improving. His family said he is finally breathing on his own.

“It is tough, but we are hanging in there,” Maitland said.

Branden’s family said he suffers from seizures, so the crash only complicated things for his health.

Still, the Maitland family said they are grateful that Branden, who is one of three siblings, is closer to going home.

Branden’s grandfather was recently released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

It’s unclear when exactly Branden will be able to go home, but his family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received since the crash.

“It has been amazing,” Maitland said. “I can’t complain. A lot of support from family members and co-workers.”

Miami police said the crash remains an ongoing investigation

Click here if you wish to donate to the Maitland family to help with Branden’s medical expenses.


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Woman dies after struck by car in Hallandale Beach

An older woman died Monday afternoon shortly after she was struck by a vehicle in Hallandale Beach, authorities said.

The crash was reported at 2551 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd.

“They came right there where the body was, and I heard the cops screaming, ‘Come on, hurry up, hurry up,'” Christina Peters, who witnessed the crash, said. “They tried to pump the heart. She was not responding. So when they put her on the stretcher, they were still working on her.”

A Hallandale Fire Rescue representative said the woman was taken as a trauma alert to Memorial Regional Hospital, where she died shortly after arriving.

It appeared that the woman was pushing a small cart full of groceries when she was struck. 

Traffic homicide detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

It’s unclear whether the driver will be cited or charged.

Authorities shut down Hallandale Boulevard, between A1A westbound to Three Islands Boulevard while they investigated. The road reopened just before 4:30 p.m.

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Study: Florida’s US 1 is most dangerous highway in America

The Florida section of U.S. 1 saw the most fatal crashes of any road in the United States in the last 10 years, according to a study by Geotab on the most dangerous highways in America. .

Geotab, which specializes in fleet management solutions, looked at the fatal crash rate, number of crashes and number of fatalities in all 50 states, finding Florida’s U.S. 1 ranked No. 1 in all three categories.

In the last decade, Geotab says, there have been 1,011 deadly crashes resulting in 1,079  fatalities  on the highway, which runs through 13 Florida counties, from its southern tip in Key West to Hilliard, at the Florida-Georgia border.

Geotab US1 Florida graphic

VIEW: Most dangerous highways in America

Through much of Florida, U.S. 1 is known as Dixie Highway. 

Geotab reported the highway with the second highest number of fatalities was Interstate 40 in Tennessee, which saw 517 fatalities in 437 deadly crashes.

The study did not include what section of U.S. 1 was found to be the most dangerous.

Geotab’s fatal crash rate is based on the annual number of road fatalities and fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, adjusted for the average daily traffic counts provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

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