Garbage Truck Drives Off Highway Ramp in Miami-Dade

The driver of a garbage truck is in serious condition after driving off an exit ramp on Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade on Monday and tumbling more than 100 feet to a parking lot below.

The incident happened in the southbound lanes near Southwest 7th Street, Miami Fire Rescue officials said.

Officials said the solid waste truck ripped through 50 feet of guardrail, drove off the ramp and fell more than 100 feet to a parking lot next to Jose Marti Park.

"It sounded like an explosion almost. We didn't know what it really was," explained one witness, who was at the park. "Everyone turns and no one said anything while it happened. No one screams, we were just all staring."

The truck split in two, slamming into three other vehicles, just feet away from the basketball courts, pool and community center. The crash caused some structure damage to the park, officials said.

The truck driver, Kaseem Smith, was ejected from the vehicle and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in serious condition. His co-workers, family and friends showed up after the crash.

The cause of the crash was unknown. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

"You never know. Maybe he lost control of the vehicle, had a heart attack, maybe he was hit by another vehicle. We don't know yet," said FHP Trooper Jose Sanchez.

Officials said the ramp could be closed for days while the damage is repaired.

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