New information obtained about driver, victims in fatal wrong-way crash on Palmetto Expressway
New information has been released about the five people who were killed early Saturday morning in a wrong-way crash on the Palmetto Expressway.
Troopers now say there were four women and one man inside the car — all between the ages of 18 and 25.
Family members identified one of the victims as Briana Pacalagua.
GoFundMe accounts have been set up for the families of Pacalagua, Daniela Marcano, Valeria Peña and Valeria Caceres.
The crash happened in the westbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway near Northwest 57th Avenue.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a silver Infiniti heading the wrong way
crashed into a Honda that was carrying the five victims around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
Their distraught family members later gathered at the crash site, leaving behind flowers and balloons.
Karen Laverd knew the victims and told Local 10 News that she had been texting one of them earlier that day.
“She texted me that day, earlier, but you know, I couldn’t go out that night,” Laverd said.
She says she drives on the Palmetto frequently and is devastated over the tragic loss.
“I don’t know, and I ask God why he did that — driving the other way — I just hope, you know, I give my blessings and my strength to the family,” Laverd said.
Video shows the driver being pulled from the Infiniti and airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries.
Troopers identified the driver as 30-year-old Maiky Simeon.
Troopers are now asking the public to come forward with any information about his whereabouts leading up to the crash.
Records show Simeon had a speeding ticket from Collier County in 2014. In that incident, authorities said he was driving 109 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Since then, his driver’s license was suspended, but eventually reinstated.
Records also show a slew of traffic violations for Simeon in Miami-Dade County.
But according to the FHP, he did have a valid driver’s license at the time of the crash.