Months after a father was killed and his wife and two young daughters were critically injured when they were struck by a car while walking on a sidewalk in Sunny Isles Beach, police say they've charged the driver.
Joseph Jacob Franco, 27, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of tampering with physical evidence related to the July 1 crash that killed 34-year-old Amir Pelleg, an arrest report said.
Pelleg, his wife, Zulma, and their two daughters, ages 6 and 2, were walking on the sidewalk in the 17400 block of Collins Avenue when a Honda Odyssey minivan driven by Franco veered off the road and struck them before hitting a concrete wall, the report said.
Fire rescue pronounced Pelleg dead at the scene while his wife was left in a coma and their two daughters were hospitalized with multiple broken bones, the report said.
According to the report, witnesses saw Franco grab items out of the minivan and hide them under other garbage in a nearby trash bin. The witnesses said Franco then "began talking on his cellphone while walking casually away from the crash," the report said.
The witnesses pointed Franco out to an officer who arrived at the scene. The officer was also able to retrieve a bag from the trash bin that contained more than 20 used and unused metal canisters marked "cream chargers," the report said. The canisters are usually filled with nitrous oxide that can be used as a recreational drug, often called "Whip-Its."
Franco was booked into jail where he was being held on $5,000 bond Wednesday, records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.