3 people dead, 1 injured after car plunges into canal near Homestead International Speedway

A car that crashed into a canal Saturday night killing 3 people was the same vehicle that police had tried to stop.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – 3 people are dead and 1 injured after a series of events early Saturday that led to a car ending up in a canal in Homestead.

According to Homestead Police Detective Eric Rodriguez, the car that crashed was the same vehicle that fled from officers not once, but twice early Saturday morning. Around 3 a.m. officers saw a dark colored vehicle that cut off a marked Homestead patrol car. As officers tried to stop the car, the driver sped off.

Rodriguez said that around 4 a.m., the vehicle was seen again. When police started to chase the car, the driver took off for a second time.

Each time, according to police, the driver would shut off the vehicle’s headlights before speeding off.

At 5 a.m., another car was spotted, which matched the same description. The driver was pulled over, but it was not the same car or the same person behind the wheel, according to police.

“The person in that vehicle was not the person from the previous vehicle, however, that person advised that they heard a loud bang in the 2900 block of East Palm Drive,” Rodriguez said.

As Homestead police arrived at the location soon after, they found a car submerged in the murky waters.

At the scene Saturday, a twisted guardrail surrounded by broken car parts and orange markings from the homicide investigation was what was left behind. Investigators said the car barreled through the embankment, crashing into a canal.

“The officer (in the marked patrol car) attempted to conduct a traffic stop, at which point, that vehicle turned its lights off and fled,” Rodriguez said. During the second stop, the car fled again, according to Rodriguez. “When the officer got out of his car and approached the vehicle, the vehicle fled, turning its lights off again.”

Miami-Dade fire rescue responded and pulled three people out of the car. One victim was transported to Jackson South, with the other two taken to Homestead Hospital. All three later died.

Around 9 a.m., police said they found a fourth victim on land, not far from where the car went into the canal.

The victim was taken to Jackson South where he is in stable condition. Two died at Homestead Hospital while the third was transported also to Jackson South, where that person died.

Victims include 3 males and 1 female whose names and ages have not been released pending family notification.

At this time, investigators do not know who was driving the car and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

Michelle F. Solomon is a multi-platform producer/reporter for Local10 and is the podcast producer/reporter/host of the station's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and producer of Local10.com's DigiShorts.