BMW that struck Lyft driver's car in Miami was reported stolen, police say

Suspected crystal meth found in shorts pocket of Nicholas Castelao

MIAMI – A BMW that crashed into a Lyft driver's vehicle over the weekend in Miami was reported stolen in Hialeah, an arrest report said.

The driver of the BMW, identified as Nicholas James Castelao, 35, was arrested Tuesday on charges of grand theft of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.


According to the report, patient care technicians at Jackson Memorial Hospital collected Castelao's clothing and belongings after he was taken there following the crash and found three small bags of suspected crystal meth in the right front pocket of his shorts.

Police said they also found a credit card, debit card and food stamp credit card in the names of three people.

The crash was reported about 2 p.m. Sunday at Southwest 17th Street and Southwest 25th Avenue.

Miami police said the driver of a Volkswagen Jetta, who sources identified as Lyft driver Robert Torra, had four people in his car when his vehicle was struck head-on by the stolen BMW.

Torra was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragic accident," Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said. "We have been in contact with Robert's family during this unimaginably difficult time, and are available to support law enforcement in their investigation."

Robert Torra with his wife and four children.
Robert Torra with his wife and four children.

Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said two women and four men, who range in age from 25 to 35, were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center following the accident.

Their injuries range from head injuries to broken bones.

Castelao was arrested after his treatment was finished at the hospital.

Authorities said detectives are still investigating the crash, and it's unclear whether Castelao was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash.

Castelao is being held at the Pre-Trial Detention Center.

A GoFundMe page was created by Torra's family to help pay for funeral expenses. A GoFundMe page was also created by a group of South Florida Lyft drivers to help with the expenses.

Torres is survived by his wife and four children.

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