MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Vespa scooter burst into flames after a crash with a Chevy Suburban on Wednesday in Miami Beach.
Juan Patiño, the rider of the scooter, said he had the right of way after the light turned green on Collins Avenue and 18th Street.
Patiño said he was traveling southbound on his way to work when a driver who was traveling northbound turned westbound and struck him in the front. He said the driver didn’t stop until witnesses shouted.
“It wasn’t a hard crash, so I just picked it up and I tried to turn it on,” Patiño said. “When I turned it on, it catched fire, and after that, I just had to run away.”
Patiño, who was carrying a neon green Totto backpack and a red helmet, said he wasn’t injured. He ran to neighboring businesses asking for a fire extinguisher.
“At the beginning, it was a small fire ... I know if they would have given me one, I would have been able to save it,” he said, adding he knew there was nothing he could do when the flames got bigger and he feared the scooter was going to explode.
Miami Beach Fire Rescue responded and police officers asked drivers to avoid the area. Patiño said the officers didn’t tell him if the driver of the Chevy was issued a ticket.
Local 10 News Producer Dana Levy and Assignment Desk Editor Nina Nahmias contributed to this report.