Miami-Dade County

Teen Was Driving 111 MPH in New Year's Day Crash in Miami-Dade That Left 4 Dead: FHP

16-year-old surrenders to face multiple DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges

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A teen surrendered Monday to face DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges in a high-speed New Year's Day crash in Miami-Dade that left four people dead and two of his friends severely injured, authorities said.

The 16-year-old turned himself in to the Florida Highway Patrol in Miami to face four counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of DUI manslaughter and two counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury.

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 data recorder revealed that the defendant was traveling at a speed of 111 miles an hour one second prior to the impact, just to put that in perspective for you the speed limit on Flagler is 40 miles an hour," FHP Lt. Alex Camacho said Monday.

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.

"The violent nature of the crash caused the drivers seat in the Hyundai to become dislodged and land on top of the passenger seat," the report said. "This caused the seatbelt to sever and the front seat passenger to be ejected from the vehicle."

The 16-year-old Tahoe driver had two passengers, who were both also 16, and all three only had learner's permits, the report said.

The teen driver 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 and was still in intensive care as of Monday, the report said.

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

Authorities said Barzaga had no alcohol or drugs in her system, but the teen driving the Tahoe had both.

"Her blood came back with absolutely no alcohol, no drugs, nothing, she was doing the right thing, whereas on the other end of it, the 16-year-old defendant was doing the absolute wrong thing," Camacho said. First of all, driving, 16 years old with a learner’s permit, not even allowed to be driving by himself, he’s got marijuana in his blood, he’s got alcohol in his blood, and he’s doing 111 miles an hour."

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