Driver slams into bus stop bench, killing 1, injuring others, police say

3 people taken to area hospitals after crash in Sunny Isles Beach

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group, Trent Kelly - Reporter

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. - One person was killed when the driver of a car lost control on Collins Avenue and slammed into a bus stop bench Sunday night in Sunny Isles Beach, police said.

The 911 calls started pouring in just after 8 p.m.

Officials said a van was headed north on Collins Avenue when it veered onto the sidewalk and struck two adults and two children standing near the bus stop.

"I went southbound and I saw a body laying here, covered in the yellow tarp, and I saw a baby stroller here," witness Michael Schnitzler said. "It made me cry. It's -- it's a tragedy."

Police said one of the adults was pronounced dead at the scene. The rest of the victims were airlifted to area hospitals.

Schnitzler, who lives nearby, said a valet attendant told him he heard the children crying out for help after the crash.

"He told me that right after the accident, he heard people screaming, and a baby crying, 'Mommy, Mommy,'" Schnitzler said.

Though it's unclear what caused the driver of the vehicle to lose control, that person remained at the scene and is cooperating, investigators said.

The northbound lanes of Collins Avenue were closed from 163rd Street to 178th Street for hours after the crash.

 

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