‘You’ve broken my life,’ husband says after wife killed in 79th Street Causeway crash

Driver arrested on unrelated charges, police confirm

MIAMI – The woman killed in a fatal crash on the 79th Street Causeway was a mother of five, her husband told Local 10 News on Thursday.

Among 38-year-old Naomy Arias’ five children was a 2-month-old. Her sister and niece, who were also in the car at the time of the crash, are still recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

“You’ve broken my life, and you’ve taken my wife, too,” said Ali Akatawi, the victim’s husband. “You’ve broken my heart. Now I don’t have nothing.”

Police said the driver of a black SUV was speeding Wednesday when he ran into the concrete median of the 79th Street Causeway bridge.

His vehicle was sent airborne, coming down and crashing into the car that Arias was a passenger in with her sister and niece.

Those closest to Arias describe her as a hard-working mother, friend and wife.

Neighbors and family members were devastated as they learned the tragic news.

Arias also has a 19-year-old daughter in Mexico who is now pleading for a Humanitarian Visa to come to the U.S.

Arias immigrated from Cuba five years ago, marrying an Iraqi immigrant.

“I don’t feel no good,” said Akatawi. “I feel I’m dying.”

A 30-year-old man involved in the fatal crash Wednesday has been arrested, but despite allegedly causing the crash, his charges have nothing to do with the crash itself, authorities confirmed.

According to Miami Police Officer Kiara Delva, Dionicio Enrique Castro, of Miami Beach, was initially arrested on a warrant and also faces drug possession charges.

Castro was found with suspected cocaine, cannabis, MDMA, and a gun, per an arrest report.

Police said he was driving a black Mazda SUV at a high rate of speed Wednesday afternoon, approaching the crest of the bridge, when he veered his vehicle left across two eastbound lanes.

His SUV then struck the median, went airborne for about 23 feet and landed in the middle lane of westbound traffic, authorities said.

According to the report, Castro’s SUV then skidded about 20 feet and crashed head-on into a gray Nissan sedan that was heading west.

First responders said a third vehicle clipped the two vehicles after the crash.

Castro suffered a hip fracture and hip dislocation from the collision, while the driver of the Nissan suffered a head injury and lower body trauma.

The rear passenger in the Nissan had similar injuries, police said.

According to the arrest report, the front-seat passenger of the Nissan, now identified as Arias, was rushed to the operating room at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, but she ultimately died from her injuries.

The arrest report states that it appears Castro caused the collision while “operating his vehicle in a careless and reckless manner,” although he is not yet facing charges in connection with the crash.

Police said the drugs were found on Castro by medical staff at the hospital and the gun and more drugs were seen in plain view inside his vehicle.

According to his arrest report, the warrant was related to a petit theft case.

Police said the investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.