3 waiting for bus injured in crash

Miami Fire Rescue: 3 suffered serious injuries

By Ben Candea , Glenna Milberg - Reporter


Three people waiting for the bus suffer serious injuries in a multi-vehicle crash at W. Flagler Street and 42nd Avenue in Miami on Wednesday morning.

The crash happened about 10:20 a.m. near a Shell gas station. Two others, including the driver of a Miami-Dade County pickup truck involved the crash, were also transported with serious injuries.

For an unknown reason, Miami police said one of the vehicles collided with another vehicle from the rear, then went over the sidewalk and collided with a bus bench where three people were sitting.

Miami police have identified the pedestrians, who were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Unit, as 62-year-old Francisco Sanchez, 56-year-old Nancy Sanchez and 78-year-old Transito Lopez.

The collision caused a series of other crashes, which involved a total of five cars, said police.

Witnesses described the chaos that happened in just seconds -- flying car parts, a crashing red-light camera pole, and the bus bench that careened across the ground of a gas station. Those waiting at the red light said the county truck was traveling toward them at full speed.

"He did not hit the brakes. That I assure you," said Richard Chavez, the driver of the first car in line at the red light. "In a split of a second, I saw the county truck doing about 50 mph. I spend all day on the roads so I know everybody's speeds."

"No stopping. He just came barreling right through everybody," said Carlos Sanchez.

The three victims waiting for the bus -- two men and one woman -- were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital as trauma alerts. One man's leg was severed in the crash.

"I looked one time and I looked away. I couldn't take a look at him. It was pretty bad. They were pretty badly injured," said Sanchez.

The Miami-Dade County Transit Department identified the driver as Alfredo Menendez, a 10-year county employee. A county spokesperson said Menendez will be on medical leave and then administrative leave while the crash is investigated.

The driver of the 2011 Volkswagen was identified by police as James Arthur Bowers, 32, and was transported to Doctors Hospital.

Those also involved in Wednesday's crash include Carlos Sanchez, Jorge Ramos, Orlando Morales, Ricardo Chavez and Reinaldo Hernandez, according to Miami police.

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