A bloody Thursday on South Florida’s highways left four people dead across two counties.
A newspaper carrier on her way to pick up the daily deliveries was killed along with her father, who was visiting from Nicaragua. A motorcyclist died in a violent collision with another motorcyclist. And a driver was ejected and killed after her vehicle was slammed by an out-of-control car.
Carolina Cuadra, a contract newspaper carrier for The Miami Herald Media Co., was on her way to a warehouse to pick up morning newspapers for her route in West Miami-Dade. She was accompanied by her father, Isaac Antonio Lopez, who was in town for two weeks and helping her deliver papers on her route, south of Coral Way and west of Southwest 102nd Avenue.
Father and daughter, who were traveling in a 1996 Toyota, were heading south on the Palmetto Expressway around 1 a.m. Thursday when a 2002 Dodge pickup truck slammed into them from behind near the Northwest 36th Street off-ramp, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Before Thursday’s tragedy, she was on the job 365 days a year.
“She was so passionate about what she did, so committed,” said her supervisor, Hector Guevara.
Her husband, Jose, also a newspaper carrier, was waiting for them at the warehouse. He was sent home and given the heartbreaking news.
“She knew her customers by name,” said former supervisor Ken Vendettuoli. “She knew how to position each paper to make her people happy. She knew that this one wanted it on the porch, the other on the driveway.”
Jeff Hood, 45, of Miami, was driving the truck that hit Cuadra’s car. Charges are pending, according to FHP, which is looking into whether the crash was alcohol-related. Miami Dade Fire Rescue treated Hood on the highway. He suffered minor injuries.
Shortly after in Broward, two motorcycles collided on the westbound ramp to the southbound turnpike from I-595. Sara Ramirez Sandoval, 22, of Dania Beach died; the other biker, whose identity was not released, is in critical condition.
Both bikers failed to complete a curve, lost control, struck the retaining wall and were hurtled over the ramp, according to the FHP.
Three hours later in Broward, drivers came to a screeching halt on I-595 at Nob Hill Road in Davie after a three-vehicle, hit-and-run crash left a 20-year-old woman dead.
Bertha J. Rodriguez-Garcia of Sunrise was traveling west when Wilbert Saintubert, 36, of Fort Lauderdale lost control of his vehicle after his was hit by another car, according to reports. Saintubert hit Rodriguez-Garcia’s Honda CR-V. She was ejected.
“One car fled the scene,” FHP spokesman Mark Wysocky said. “We are looking for a small dark-colored SUV with heavy front damage.”
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