1 dead, 2 injured during chain reaction crash involving school bus in Hialeah Gardens

A school bus with Hialeah Gardens Middle Schools students was involved in a fatal crash involving four other vehicles and a pedestrian on Tuesday afternoon.

HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. – A school bus with Hialeah Gardens Middle School students onboard was involved in a fatal crash involving four other vehicles and a pedestrian on Tuesday afternoon.

Hialeah Gardens Police Department detectives were investigating the death of the pedestrian. According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, a man and a child were also injured.

It all started when a man who was driving a Dodge pickup truck southbound on the Palmetto Expressway exited at 103rd Street. He ran over a pedestrian and crashed into an Audi, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

He was later identified as 38-year-old Lavarius C. Bethel.

The drivers of a Ford sedan, a white Honda sedan and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools bus got caught in the chain-reaction crash at Northwest 103rd Street and Northwest 77th Avenue, according to troopers.

A girl who was on the school bus said a window shattered and some of the glass fell on her lap. She wasn’t injured and said neither were the other frightened students who were with her.

Bethel was placed in handcuffs after the incident and officers temporarily closed the intersection.

FHP Lt. Alex Camacho confirmed Wednesday that a blood sample was taken to determine whether Bethel was impaired while driving. Authorities are still waiting on the toxicology report.


6 p.m. traffic report

One person died and two others were injured after a multi-vehicle crash on Tuesday in Hialeah Gardens.

5 p.m. report

A public school bus was involved in a multi-vehicle fatal crash on Tuesday afternoon in Hialeah Gardens.

This is a developing story. Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editors Emily Hales and Aura Martinez contributed to this report.

About the Authors:

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.