The father of a woman who was killed in a violent car crash outside a school cafeteria in West Kendall spoke for the first time Wednesday night, saying he had no idea what had happened until she didn't come home.
Catalina Gomez Pelaez, 27, was struck and killed outside the cafeteria on the campus of Our Lady of Lourdes at 11199 Southwest 139th Court Tuesday afternoon. Pelaez, who was there to pick up a relative's kids, was hit by a SUV driven by 73-year-old Nuris Better and pinned against the building, Miami-Dade Police said.
"The kids never arrived at home Tuesday afternoon so I went to the school and realized what happened," father Andres de Jesus Gomez told NBC 6 South Florida in Spanish Wednesday night.
Gomez said his daughter had come to the U.S. to help him with his tire business. It was her idea to pick up the kids from school and it was her first time going there.
Church members who returned Wednesday night said they're praying for both families.
"We're all praying for the families, both families, it's just a terrible tragedy to everyone concerned and our thoughts and our prayers are always with them," Barbara del Llano said.
Earlier in the day, school and staff returned with grief counselors available.
"It's just terrible, I feel bad for both families, just awful," said Pat Homans, the grandmother of a student.
Better hasn't been charged in the crash. Police are still investigating how she may have lost control of her car.
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