Two people were killed when the Porsche they were riding in crashed into a guardrail and ended up in a canal in northwest Miami-Dade Friday morning.
The crash happened just before 2 a.m. on eastbound State Road 836 just east of Northwest 42nd Avenue, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
According to the FHP, witnesses said the 2014 Porsche was traveling at a high rate of speed when it collided with the inside guardrail and continued about 500 feet, crossing all lanes of traffic and crashing into the south guardrail, splitting it in half.
The car then drove into the canal, where it became completely submerged, Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll said. When divers went in, they found one person still inside the car and the other outside.'
Neither victim had a pulse or was breathing, so rescue workers began CPR as they were rushed to
Ryder Trauma Center.
They were pronounced dead at the hospital, Carroll said. The driver was identified as 34-year-old Hector Cartagena (pictured right) and his passenger was identified as a 26-year-old named Wilmer, according to the FHP.
A co-worker confirmed both men worked at Majesty Furniture in Hialeah.
"I'm a little bit in shock," said Olga de la Regata, who found out the terrible news when she came into work Friday morning.
She said Cartagena owned the store and Wilmer Alexander Espana was one of his employees. De la Regata described Cartagena as a good person who was very dedicated to his work.
Authorities said they found the business owner was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The passenger was found outside the vehicle in the water, according to FHP. An investigation to determine if alcohol was involved is pending.
The crash was so violent that it woke up Carla Lopez and Benicio Marmolegos, who were asleep in their home nearby.
"The water was moving a lot. There was smoke and the bridge was broken," said Lopez said.
"We just heard a loud bang," Marmelejos said.
Another man, who wanted to remain anonymous, came to the scene of the crash and called 911 for help.
The Dolphin Expressway was closed off to eastbound traffic, which was being diverted to Northwest 42nd Avenue. It reopened several hours later.