Southbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway have reopened after an early morning crash that killed one person after the car they were driving slammed into a Miami-Dade fire truck Thursday.
Officials say the accident occurred just before Northwest 74th Street around 2:30 a.m. Fire rescue crews had responded to a call of a separate hit and run crash at the location and had blocked off the road when a 2014 Hyundai Sonata hit the fire truck.
The driver, 57-year-old Lizardo Alvarez, died at the scene.
"Standard acting procedures are to block the incoming traffic, so our drivers position our vehicles in a way to block traffic," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Ernie Jillson.
No one inside the fire truck or paramedics who responded for the initial call were hurt as hazmat crews were called to clean a fuel leak from the rescue vehicle, caused after a tank bursted upon impact. The female driver from the initial hit and run crash was taken to the hospital as a result of their injuries.
"The drivers positioning of the vehicle save saved our lives," said Jillson. "Without that you would have had fatalities with the firemen."
The roadway remained closed for over four hours as officials continued to clean up debris and finish their investigation.
Thursday’s crash was the third straight day that the Palmetto Expressway was closed completely and the second straight day the crash involved a fatality.