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2 men from Florida injured in crash in Havana

Car's steering system malfunction causes crash leaving 4 dead, authorities say

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HAVANA, Cuba – Two men from Florida were injured in a car crash that left four dead and 19 others injured after midnight Sunday in Havana's El Vedado neighborhood. 

The two U.S. citizens -- ages 19 and 20 --  suffered orthopedic injuries when the driver of an antique car plowed into a crowd at the popular Malecón boulevard at 23rd Avenue. An air ambulance is flying them to South Florida on Monday. 

Cuban authorities identified the victims who died as 21-year-old Yurislandy Martínez Calvo, Franklin Baket Hernández, Osmany González Claro and Ulises Canales López, a reporter with the state-owned Prensa Latina agency.

The injured were at the Docente Clínico Quirúrgico Calixto García Hospital, the Juan Manuel Márquez Pediatric Hospital and the Salvador Allende Hospital in Havana. 

State-owned newspaper Granma identified one of the injured as Rafael Pantoja Reyes. A doctor at the pediatric hospital said a 12-year-old boy is in intensive care and a 16-year-old girl suffered cuts.

The vintage car, known as an "Almendrón," suffered a technical malfunction in the steering system when the driver lost control of the car, authorities said. The area has a speed limit of about 35 miles per hour.  


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.