The Florida Highway Patrol has identified Lavarius Bethel as the alleged driver of a RAM pickup truck that struck and killed a pedestrian before hitting 3 other cars and a school bus full of kids Tuesday afternoon. It appears Bethel was coming off the Palmetto Expressway when he struck the pedestrian and the other vehicles at NW 103rd Street in Hialeah Gardens.
The pedestrian who was killed has yet to be identified. We know that the athletic field at Mater Academy Middle / High Charter School was evacuated to allow Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopters land at the field to airlift some of the injured to nearby hospitals. A witness described seeing a mom with a baby being transferred by a gurney and a young man with a head wound.
For those familiar with the area of NW 103rd Street and the Palmetto, you know that this area has been a traffic choke point for decades. As you might imagine, the entire intersection was shut down as police and rescue assisted the victims and then processed the scene for the homicide investigation. This created a major backlog of traffic along the Palmetto, Okeechobee Road, and all the arteries surrounding the area.
We pray that those hurt during this accident have a swift and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of the pedestrian that was killed.