911 Calls Show Frantic Rescue Attempt After Wrong-Way Wreck

Nearly a week after 42-year-old Norman Mello was hit and killed by a wrong-way driver on I-95, law enforcement released the 911 calls that showed the harrowing moments just after the accident.

911: "How many people are hurt?"
Caller: "2! 2! 2!"
911: "2 people"
Caller: "The motorcyclist and the girl that’s driving the car."
911: "Ok. Are they, are they both....listen to me.....Listen to me sir I need you to let, let me know what’s going on. Are they both completely awake?"
Caller: "Yes, an accident they got in an accident”
911: "I know that, I understand that but are they both completely awake?"
Caller: "The woman is awake I don’t know about the guy. They guy I don’t think he."

The he referenced in the call turned out to be Mello. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mello was riding his motorcycle last Saturday on I-95 South near the 836/Dolphin Expressway. FHP said that’s when 20-year-old Varissa Vargas was driving the wrong way in the express lanes and hit Mello head-on.

Caller: "There’s like, yeah there's like six cars are stopped. There’s 10 people trying to get him out of the car because he like flipped through the car...and there’s a man, a police officer now helping to break the window."

Mello was actually approximately four car lengths behind an SUV that swerved to miss Vargas’ car first. Norman had little time to react and when the motorcycle hit the car, Mello’s body went through the windshield and into the back seat of Vargas’ car where he died.

Megan Herff said, "He’s an amazing person. He did everything for everyone but himself."

Megan said she was one of Norman’s best friends, but his pit bull Diamond was everything, calling the dog “his absolute world.”

Herff said the wrong-way accident is a tragedy and started an online petition to send a letter to Governor Rick Scott demanding the state makes changes that will make it impossible for drivers to go the wrong way.

Herff said, "Yeah it could be prevented by putting spikes on the road or putting signs that are bright enough that will catch attention. Not just strips saying wrong way."

Friday there will be a memorial ride in Norman’s honor. So far at least a hundred people are expected to attend.

As for the wrong way driver, no charges have been filed. FHP said it’s awaiting a toxicology report and that she was transported to JMH trauma. NBC 6 tried getting her side of the story, but the hospital says it has no record of her being there.

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