Footage showing a violent Miami Beach crash that left three people seriously injured and the driver of a speeding Tesla under arrest was released Friday.
The surveillance footage shows the Oct. 21 crash on the MacArthur Causeway at the intersection of Fountain Street that led to the arrest in January of 38-year-old Jose Manuel Soto on multiple counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily injury.
According to an arrest report, Soto was behind the wheel of the Tesla Model S when he crashed into an Infiniti SUV with three people inside just after 1 a.m.
The Infiniti had a green arrow and was making a legal U-turn when the Tesla ran the red light while traveling at a high rate of speed, causing a violent collision, the report said. Police determined from the footage that the light was red for about six seconds before the crash, the report said.
"The force of the impact was so great that the Tesla vehicle almost cut the larger, heavier Infiniti in half," the report said.
It was later determined from the Tesla's "black box" that it was traveling 128 mph just two seconds before the crash, the report said. The posted speed limit is 45 mph.
The "black box" also determined that Soto was accelerating five seconds before the crash and hit the brake pedal about 1.5 seconds before the crash, lowering the speed to 93 mph, but it was too late, the report said.
The three people in the Infiniti were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center with life-threatening injuries and all had to undergo surgery, the report said. One of them had injuries so bad they spent a couple weeks in a coma, one suffered multiple fractures and a collapsed lung and one suffered a traumatic brain injury, the report said.
"This very severe crash resulted in everyone being transported to JMH," Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said. "Miraculously no one lost their lives."
After an investigation, Soto was asked to surrender to the Miami Beach Police Department.
In a phone interview with NBC 6 on Friday, Soto's attorney challenged the vehicle data police released, saying the speed that they claim was obtained at a time prior to the accident and was reported to news media for "maximum shock value."
Attorney Robert Reiff also challenged the safety of the MacArthur Causeway.
"What this video recording does expose is the poor design and under-speeded roadway that is the MacArthur Causeway," Reif said in part. "This roadway has been the scene of far too many serious traffic accidents and we believe that the roadway needs to be fully examined by the Florida Department of Transportation."