Miami-Dade County

Hearing Held for Teen Charged in New Year's Day Crash in Miami-Dade That Left 4 Dead

16 year old facing four counts of DUI manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter in West Flagler New Year's Day fatal crash.

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A hearing was held Tuesday for a teen charged in a New Year's Day crash in Miami-Dade that left four people dead and two of his friends severely injured.

Alex Garcia, 16, was present Tuesday at the pretrial detention hearing where his lawyer was petitioning the court for some type of release from jail.

Garcia turned himself in to the Florida Highway Patrol in Miami in March to face four counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of DUI manslaughter and two counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury in the crash.

According to an arrest report, the teen was behind the wheel of a Chevy Tahoe when he crashed into a Hyundai Elantra at the intersection of West Flagler Street and Northwest 79th Avenue just before 4 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The Hyundai was making a left turn when it was T-boned by the Tahoe, sending it nearly 300 feet from the site of the collision, the report said.

Before the collision, a Miami-Dade Police officer spotted the Tahoe traveling at a high rate of speed, and the officer began to pursue the Tahoe and was behind it when it crashed into the Hyundai, the report said.

Authorities said the Tahoe's data showed it was going about 111 mph right before the crash on a stretch of West Flagler where the posted speed limit is 40 mph.

The four people in the Hyundai were killed instantly, the report said. They were identified as 21-year-old Yuhlia Gelats Barzaga, the driver; Christian Mohip, 22; Andres Zacarias, 21; and Jenser Salazar, 21.

During Tuesday's hearing, an FHP trooper gave testimony about the horrific nature of the crash.

"The front of vehicle one was embedded in the side of vehicle two and therefore we had to call the fire department to extricate the bodies", said FHP Trooper Christine Gracey.

Records showed Garcia has a learner's permit. Garcia's mother admitted to the trooper investigating the case that she had given her son the keys to her Chevy Tahoe, but said it was only so he could sit inside and listen to music.

Authorities said Barzaga had no alcohol or drugs in her system, but Garcia had both.

For now, Garcia will remain in jail without bond pending his trial.

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