Driver believed to be responsible for fatal 79th Street Causeway crash booked into jail

Mother of 5 killed in Feb. 8 crash; Driver facing unrelated charges for now

(Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation/WPLG)

MIAMI – The driver who police believe caused a crash on the 79th Street Causeway last week that killed a mother of five has been booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center after being released from the hospital.

But although Miami police say Dionicio Enrique Castro, 30, appeared to have been speeding before he lost control of his vehicle on Feb. 8, he is so far only facing unrelated charges related to a warrant and drugs allegedly found on him and inside his SUV after the crash.

Police said he was driving a black Mazda SUV at a high rate of speed that 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 his arrest 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, identified as Naomy Arias, 38, a wife and mother of five, was rushed to the operating room at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, but she ultimately died from her injuries.

“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.”

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 a 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. Jail records show he also faces an armed robbery charge.

Police said the investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for