Students back at school after Krome Ave crash that killed Gisele Betancourt

3 killed, 3 injured in head-on collision

MIAMI – Friends of the victims of a fatal collision on Krome Avenue over the weekend spoke out about the crash that killed one of their friends and injured three others.

"I've seen a lot of people crying because of it," said Michael Vandenedez. "It's such a tragedy."

Students at South Dade Senior High were back in school Tuesday morning, the first time since the wrong-way crash that took the life of one of their classmates.

Gisele Betancourt, 15, was a passenger in the car her 19-year-old brother, Erick, was driving. 

"She was just a very nice person all the time," Vandenedez said. "It's good to have friends like that around and it sucks to see a nice person go.

The crash happened at around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. According to Florida Highway Patrol, Erick Betancourt was driving the wrong way, heading south in a 2004 Dodge Durango when he crashed head-on into a Chevy Cavalier traveling in the northbound lanes.

The impact was so strong, both cars ignited. Erick and two of his other passengers - Julissa Ochoa, 16, and Samuel Domifilo, 24, - were taken to the hospital. Gisele was airlifted to Kendall Regional Hospital, but died from her injuries.

The news spread through social media during the long weekend.

The two people in the Chevy Cavalier have not yet been positively identified, pending the results of dental records. But friends at the crash scene Monday identified the driver as Gabriel Hernandez, a student at Miami-Dade College.

"They called him the life of the party," said his friend Ely Rojas. "You could hear that from everyone."

Meanwhile, those who knew the victims are trying to come to terms with their deaths.

"She was very cheerful," Vandenedez said about his friend Gisele. "Hopefully everything goes well for the family."

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