Woman killed, kids hurt attempting to cross Palmetto Expressway
Angela Johnson, 3 children struck while taking 'shortcut'
MIAMI – A 24-year-old pregnant woman is dead and three children were taken to the hospital after they were struck by a sport utility vehicle while attempting to cross the Palmetto Expressway.
The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the southbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway at Northwest 103rd Street.
Three adults and seven kids were attempting to cross the expressway when the woman and three children were struck by a black 2004 Ford SUV, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
The mother, her daughter and other family members were on their way to Chuck E. Cheese's in Hialeah when they were struck.
Angela Johnson, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene. Local 10 News has learned she was pregnant with her second child.
The children -- identified as Kayla Ross (Johnson's daughter), 4, Lexis Burnette, 7, and Briyanna Thomas, 9 -- were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.
Kayla was in Johnson's arms at the time of the crash.
"I don't know what the kids were doing on the Palmetto Expressway," Johnson's grandmother, Bervelle Labranche, told Local 10. "I'm upset about that."
Andral Johnson said her sister was trying to cross the busy highway as a shortcut.
"She said it was a shortcut and they followed her and that's what happened," Andral Johnson said.
Even if they had successfully made it across the highway, they would still have to scale a concrete barrier, cross several lanes of northbound traffic and climb a chain-link fence to get to the Chuck E. Cheese's.
"That's a highway," Andral Johnson said. "Like, who would cross a highway?"
Renato Rodriguez, who was driving the Ford SUV, was taken to Palmetto General Hospital with minor injuries. Rodriguez told Local 10 the crash was unavoidable and that he's praying for the family.
Meanwhile, the state attorney's office is weighing whether charges should be filed against Angela Johnson or any of the adults.
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--Angela Johnson, Kayla Ross, Lexis Burnette, Briyanna Thomas.
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