Woman Fatally Hit, Pinned Against Building in West Kendall

The woman was fatally hit and pinned against a building that houses the school cafeteria

Police on Tuesday night identified Catalina Gomez Pelaez, 27, as the victim of a fatal crash outside a school cafeteria in West Kendall earlier in the day.

She was fatally hit by a navy blue 2004 Chrysler sports utility vehicle driven by Nuris Better, 73, who has not been charged at this time, Miami-Dade Police said.

Pelaez was pinned against the cafeteria building, which is across the street from a church called Our Lady of Lourdes. The cafeteria is part of the school campus, which also houses the church.

She was there to pick up her relative's children at the campus at 11199 SW 139th Court in West Kendall, school officials said.

The driver lost control of her SUV at about 4:26 p.m. and struck the pedestrian, Miami-Dade Police said. They continue to investigate.

“We've seen tragedies over these past few weeks and these past few days – but in just a split second, two lives have been changed forever,” Our Lady of Lourdes spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said.

No children were injured. 

“I'm sorry for the person that – both of them – the one that got into an accident and the other one," parent Mario Sufrain said of the incident.

Flyers were given to parents and parishioners with details of the accident. Pelaez was pronounced dead on the scene, before her remains were given a faith-filled farewell by Monsignor Kenneth Schwange.

“The police officers and the medical examiners stopped for a moment so that he could be close to the body and say a prayer and give the body a blessing,” Agosta said.

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