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South Florida singer released from hospital after hit-and-run crash

Michael Rodriguez, 33, underwent surgery after Dec. 8 crash

A South Florida singer is getting back to doing what he loves most after he was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash.

Michael Rodriguez, 33, is known in some circles by his stage name, Mikey El Romantico.

Rodriguez has come a long way since in just over a week since the hit-and-run crash in northwest Miami-Dade that nearly killed him.

“Doctors told me it was a miracle, you know, that they got me going so quickly,” he said.

Rodriguez said he was on his way home from work the night of Dec. 8, heading east on Northwest 50th Street. As he made a U-turn at 27th Avenue, another driver, identified by police as Silvestre Diaz, tried to beat the yellow light and crashed into him.

“I got all that pressure on the right side of my vehicle,” Rodriguez said.

Police said Diaz and his passenger left the scene and their rental car behind.

After crashing at this intersection, Rodriguez said he fell unconscious. He was in a daze but said he distinctly remembers hearing the voices of police officers.

"While being unconscious I thought I heard someone say, ‘I think he’s dead. I think he’s dead,’” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was taken to a hospital, where he was intubated, underwent surgery and spent an entire week recovering.

Diaz was arrested two days after the crash. Police said he not only fled the scene, but was driving without a license and was high on marijuana.

"Why did he do that? Why couldn’t he just stop?” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was released from the hospital Thursday and still bears some scars from the crash. Still, he said he just happy to be alive and singing again with the people he loves.

“Money can’t buy life,” Rodriguez said. “And I’m just thankful to be alive.”

Rodriguez's friends are holding a fundraising concert to help with his medical expenses. The Mikey's Hotswing Latin Band Show is from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at El Tropico Cuban Cuisine at 17020 Collins Ave in Sunny Isles Beach.

Those who cannot attend the concert can donate to a GoFundMe page set up for Rodriguez.


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