Driver charged in fatal Miami Gardens bus bench crash

Mark Derefaka charged with vehicular homicide, driving without a valid license


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A man police say was responsible for plowing his car into a bus stop in Miami Gardens last week, and killing one person in the process, was arrested Tuesday evening.

Mark Derefaka, 29, will face multiple charges that include vehicular homicide and driving without a valid license.

Miami Garden police believe speed was the cause of the accident that killed 83-year-old Mary Smith and injured five more.

Derefaka's car crashed into a bus bench outside a CVS pharmacy at Northwest 199th Street and 2nd Avenue last Tuesday.

Police believe Derefaka's white Nissan Maxima was speeding and swerved around a slower moving black Nissan Altima, hit it, and then plowed through a bus stop where four people were waiting, including Smith. Both cars were going eastbound on 199th Street.

Several Good Samaritans heard the crash and ran in to help. Several people freed a man who was trapped underneath the car, leaving it on its side.

Derefaka already has a criminal history.