Four people are confirmed dead after a crash on Okeechobee Road west of Florida’s Turnpike on Wednesday, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Sanchez said.
They include a 6-year-old child passenger, who authorities originally said was 5, in the vehicle that was hit head-on by a BMW that veered into its southbound lane on Okeechobee Road, Sanchez said.
It is believed the BMW, which was traveling north, veered into the median and then into a southbound lane, hitting the second vehicle. Both the driver and child in that car have died, Sanchez said.
The FHP identified the deceased adults as Miguel Remedio Gonzalez, 29, Arturo Javier Montenegro, 47, and Lazaro Miguel Remedio Palacio, 56. The girl, who family members called Puchie, was Montenegro's daughter.
The BMW caught fire in the aftermath of the violent wreck. Sanchez said it's one of the worst accidents he's seen in his 25-year career.
The BMW was so badly charred that authorities didn’t know if there could be more than one victim inside. The BMW will be taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine that, Sanchez said.
Authorities were dispatched to the crash in Hialeah at 8:41 p.m. and arrived 10 minutes later, according to the FHP.
Speed was a factor in the crash, Sanchez said.
“It breaks our heart that in these holidays, I mean, certain individuals come out here, they really don’t understand that speed is fatal,” Sanchez said.
Lanes in both directions on Okeechobee Road remained closed at 11 p.m. Wednesday. They were expected to stay closed well into the night as authorities continue to investigate.