Miami-Dade County

Teen Charged in New Year's Day Crash in Miami-Dade That Left 4 Dead Denied Bond

Attorneys for 16-year-old Alex Garcia had been petitioning the court for some type of release from jail, but a judge decided he'll stay behind bars

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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 was denied bond at a hearing Friday.

Attorneys for 16-year-old Alex Garcia had been petitioning the court for some type of release from jail, but a judge decided he'll stay behind bars. He's next due in court on July 15.

Garcia had 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.

Alex Garcia in Miami-Dade bond court on April 20, 2021.

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.

Garcia suffered minor injuries, but one of his passengers had a broken shoulder, an orbital bone fracture requiring a titanium plate to his face, and a spinal fluid leak, the report said. He may have to have a drain in his head for the rest of his life, the report said.

The other Tahoe passenger had a broken hand that also required a titanium plate, the report said.

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.

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