A 55-year-old woman was killed when the driver of a black GMC Denali who was fleeing from police smashed into the red Ford Taurus she was riding in Monday afternoon, Miami-Dade Police said.
Monica Patterson was pronounced dead on the scene at Southwest 105th Avenue and 176th Street in West Perrine, in south Miami-Dade County. The driver of the Taurus was taken to Kendall Regional Trauma Center in critical condition, according to police.
The Denali was heading south on Southwest 105th Avenue at a high speed and ran a stop sign before it struck the Taurus – which was heading west on Southwest 176th Street – on its passenger side, police said.
The suspect in the hit-and-run crash got away on foot, police said.
As Patterson's lifeless body remained at the scene covered by a yellow tarp, her children tried desperately to hold it together.
"Only thing I can do is be strong for my sister," Timothy Patterson said.
Darrell Howard recognized the mangled Taurus immediately. He prayed his aunt was not in the driver's seat.
"Out of the blue, you hear she's in a bad accident. Some people were saying she's dead, and some say she wasn't," he said of his aunt Eloise Lewis, who indeed was in the driver's seat.
Police said detectives with Miami-Dade Police’s Robbery Intervention Detail tried to stop the Denali because it looked suspicious.
Jesse May Jackson said she saw police chasing the truck.
Police said their detectives were not involved in a chase, however. Police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta said the first detective didn’t arrive to the scene until about two minutes after the crash.
After the crash, neighbor Brandi Wellons ran to help. A face from her childhood, Mrs. Lewis, looked back, and was still breathing.
"I'm sure she had no idea, when she woke up, that she'd be a victim of this foolishness," Wellons said, tearing up.
Lewis' life was spared. Her loss would have been debilitating for a family that recently buried two others.
"All together she lost her mother and her brother, in a year," her nephew said.
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