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Father of 2 and beloved Miami Beach restaurant manager miraculously survives hit-and-run

The culprit responsible is still on the loose

Father miraculously survives Miami-Dade hit-and-run
Father miraculously survives Miami-Dade hit-and-run

In August, RJ Otero was driving along the Julia Tuttle Causeway when he was hit by a black SUV. The driver of the SUV then took off on foot and has not been caught.

Otero, who is the manager of the kosher cafe in Miami Beach, Tasti Beach Cafe, was then placed in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life — and his wife, Natalie, fought every day alongside him.

“It’s scary to think I was actually in that car after seeing the after pictures,” he says.

Otero, who is a father of two and a loving husband, miraculously beat the odds. “I love them with all my heart and soul and I can’t wait to get out of here,” he says.

After the accident, his car was left completely torn apart. And even though he was almost killed, he just wants the person responsible to come forward.

“I forgive you, but please come forward,” he says.

Otero was on his way to work at the Tasti Beach Cafe on Miami Beach around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4, when his car was hit. And now, weeks later, he was able to say hello to his co-workers and customers for the first time.

“Thank God for this thing here, this tracheotomy, that allows me to talk,” he says. “The little things you take for granted until something life changing happens.”

Otero’s message to anyone going through a struggle is to be patient and be persistent because miracles happen.

To help support Otero’s recovery, please click here to donate to the family’s GoFundMe.

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe is covering the Surfside building collapse and other news for Local 10 News.