Witness recounts deadly North Bay Village hit-and-run; victims’ family in shock

Search for 24-year-old Julius Bernstein continues

A witness whose dashcam captured Monday night’s deadly hit-and-run crash in North Bay Village recounted the moments before and immediately after the fiery wreck in an interview with Local 10 News.

NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. – A witness whose dashcam captured Monday night’s deadly hit-and-run crash in North Bay Village recounted the moments before and immediately after the fiery wreck in an interview with Local 10 News.

A woman and her two daughters were killed in the crash on the John F. Kennedy Causeway near Harbor Island Drive.

They have not been publicly identified. Police are still searching for the suspect, 24-year-old Julius Bernstein.

Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos spoke to the victims’ husband and father. He is out of the country, but said he is still in shock and trying to make sense of what happened.

Assaf Almog saw it unfold right in front of his eyes.

“That guy came really fast,” Almog said. “He was like 80 to 100 miles an hour and then he hit her.”

Almog was stopped at a red light on Harbor Island Drive when his dash camera captured the wreck. It shows what police said is Bernstein’s black car barreling into the woman’s sedan as she tried to make a left turn.

“The second he hit her, her car blew up right away,” he said.

Almog said he and others tried to help the victims but the flames were too intense. He and others watched as an officer pulled a woman from the fire, not knowing that the driver of the other car would get out and take off running, leaving the victims for dead.

“I don’t understand how he got out of it because it was a really crazy accident,” Almog said.

A man who lives nearby said Bernstein knocked on his door begging for help and a place to hide following the crash.

“He said ‘this is Julius.’ He goes ‘I got money,’” Brandon Menard said.

Menard didn’t open the door and said the suspect should “turn himself in.”

Local 10 News stopped at a Homestead address tied to Bernstein. While no one answered the door, a neighbor who said he went to school with the wanted man said Bernstein has always been in trouble with the law.

“(He) had problems. The cops had been here a couple times,” Jason Geffrard said. “I would definitely tell him to own up to it.”

Court records show that Bernstein has a lengthy criminal past, including at least three charges of fleeing an officer, and was on probation until 2023 at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information on Bernstein’s whereabouts is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.


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.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.