10 hurt after Metrobus slams into clothing store in Little Haiti

Witness says speeding truck ran red light, causing crash

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Saira Anwer - Reporter, Terrell Forney - Reporter

MIAMI - Ten people were hurt early Sunday after a Miami-Dade Transit Metrobus crashed into a clothing store
in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood, authorities said.

Capt. Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for Miami Fire Rescue, said the bus collided with a white Ford Ranger around 9:15 a.m. and then struck a pillar outside Omega Fashion at Northwest Second Avenue and Northwest 54th Street.

Two people who were inside the Ford Ranger suffered serious injuries and paramedics transported them to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Carroll said. Eight people on the bus suffered minor injuries, officials said.

Stenley Joseph, who witnessed the crash, said the Ford Ranger was speeding and ran a red light before it hit the bus.

"It was at least going 50-plus (mph). I don't know exactly what he was doing, but it was too fast. The bus hit them dead-on. The truck spun, and the bus went into the building," Joseph said.

The crash caused large cracks to form on the pillar and the building's roof. Miami Fire Rescue crews braced the building with wood planks. A structural engineer will assess the building to determine how to safely move the bus, Carroll said.

"The roof caved in a little bit. Right now, the bus is giving the building a little support," Joseph said.

Joseph said he and another bystander rushed to help the victims, prying open the back doors of the bus so the passengers could get out.

“Me and this other guy went around the bus, opened the back door and let a few passengers out, because we saw fluid leaking from the bus," Joseph said.

Joseph said he then turned to the truck, where a man and woman were inside, covered in blood.

"Thank God nobody died and nobody got more seriously injured," Joseph said. "It could have been worse if it was a business day."

Miami Fire Rescue arrived and evaluated 10 people from the bus. Eight of them, including the driver, were rushed to area hospitals, as were the pair from the Ford Ranger, who are both in their 60s.

"It was a male driver and a female passenger," Joseph said. "Their arm was wounded. Blood was everywhere. (I) moved his seat back, pulled up his steering column and pulled him out."

Officials are now working to ensure the battered building doesn't collapse.

"This building is resting on top of the bus, so members of our technical rescue team are out here trying to provide some stability for the building until they determine how they're going to remove the bus," Carroll said.

Arsene Omega, owner of Omega Fashion, said the store was closed at the time of the crash and no one inside was hurt.

"My reaction was, 'Wow,'" Omega said. "It just happened, and I don't know what my next step or anything is. I'm alive and everybody on the bus is alive, and that's all that matters to me."

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