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Fatal wrong-way wreck shuts down part of Palmetto Expressway

Amelia Costa Thompson, 28, identified as driver who caused collision

The driver of this Mazda was driving the wrong way on the Palmetto Expressway before crashing into another vehicle, authorities said.
The driver of this Mazda was driving the wrong way on the Palmetto Expressway before crashing into another vehicle, authorities said. (WPLG)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A fatal wrong-way wreck shut down part of the Palmetto Expressway Monday morning.

The crash occurred in the area of Northwest 167th Street and 47th Avenue in Miami Gardens.

Authorities said the driver of a Mazda was heading south in the northbound lanes when the car crashed into a Dodge Ram.

The driver of the Mazda, identified as Amelia Costa Thompson, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver, Josh Harrigan, 23, was taken to a hospital, where he spoke to Local 10 News reporter Parker Branton.

“Blessed to be here,” he said. “It happened so quick, I didn’t have any time to be like, ‘What the heck is going on?’”

Harrigan said he was on his way home from work when the crash happened. He said he didn’t have time to think when he saw the headlights from the other vehicle coming toward him.

Surveillance video shows Thompson’s car heading in the wrong direction before the vehicles collided, causing a fire.

The Ram rolled over after the impact.

“It was like an action movie," Harrigan said. "The car was just tumbling like three (times). It was crazy for me to be conscious during the whole thing. It was just crazy.”

The young man’s family gathered around him before he headed into surgery, grateful that he is expected to be OK.

“The truck saved my life, honestly. If I was in another vehicle, it would’ve been 10 times worse,” Harrigan said.