On November 6, 2013, at 7:17 a.m. the lives of two families were changed forever due to a tragic car accident. Betasha Bien-Aime, a 6 year old and her grandmother, Emilia Frenel, were walking to school when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year-old high school student near the intersection of Northeast 13th Place and 209th Terrace.
Betasha was transported to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital where she died. Frenel is in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The accident happened about 13 minutes before the school zone speed begins for Madie Ives Elementary School. The driver remained on the scene and investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident and whether distracted driving or speed played a role.
The state of Florida, and specifically the city of Miami consistantly lead the nation in pedestrian accidents.
In 2007, more than 7,000 pedestrians were injured in Florida, and more than 500 were killed.
Crosswalks are the most dangerous places for pedestrians to be, especially children. Florida law says that a car driver cannot make a right-hand turn while a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, but few drivers follow that law. Drivers occasionally lose control of a vehicle and drive onto the sidewalk, injuring and killing pedestrians.
I hope all parents use this accident to remind their teenage children about the dangers of distracted driving, and speeding.