Willie Dumel of Miami, Florida and four others were involved in a car accident on Wednesday, news sources report. Two men and two women were killed in the accident. Information regarding the victims’ identities was not immediately available following the crash. Dumel, 25, had been fleeing the police prior to the crash and he has since been charged with fleeing or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer in a marked vehicle; additional charges are pending. Dumel sustained two broken legs in the collision and received medical treatment before being booked into jail. It is unclear whether he has obtained legal representation, nor is it known whether surviving family of the victims will file a lawsuit.
According to reports, the incident began early Wednesday morning. An Opa-locka police officer allegedly noticed Dumel’s black Chevy Suburban exhibiting suspicious activity near the intersection of 144th Street and Northwest 22nd Avenue. The officer attempted to pull Dumel over, but Dumel fled, leading the officer through Miami Gardens and onto the north lanes of Interstate 95, reports say.
Police pursued Dumel along I-95 and off the exit ramp at Ives Dairy Road, sources say. As Dumel took the exit, he allegedly threw a firearm out the window. “The subject threw a .55 [caliber firearm] on I-95 and Ives Dairy out of the window,” a police officer said over his radio as the chase was happening. Detectives later collected the firearm on the Ives Dairy Road exit.
Officers continued their chase and Dumel drove back onto I-95. This time, however, he reportedly drove onto the wrong side of the highway, prompting officers to discontinue their chase. “My understanding is the chase was broken off at the exit ramp of Ives Dairy Road [when Dumel entered the opposing lanes],” a police spokesperson said.
Despite this report, communications from the chasse indicate that an officer may have followed Dumel into the opposing lanes. “This guy is all over the road,” an officer allegedly said. “Now he’s going against traffic on I-95. We’re going northbound in the southbound lanes.”
Jeff Kopelman, who was traveling on I-95 at the time, apparently noticed Dumel’s headlights moving towards him. “Two seconds after I realized that [there were headlights coming towards me], I mean two seconds … what looked like one big ball and next thing I know, I see one of the automobiles go up in the air, come down, [and] turn over and over.”
Kopelman witnessed Dumel’s vehicle collided head-first with a minivan, which was carrying the four victims. The collision brought the chase to a dead halt. Police apprehended Dumel and paramedics took him to the Memorial Regional Hospital. Doctors found that Dumel had broken both his legs in the collision. Paramedics pronounced the four occupants of the minivan dead at the scene. While police did not release the victims’ names, they say the victims were visiting from out of state.
A police spokesperson commented on the collision afterwards, saying, “Let me just say that I’ve been doing this for about 25 years and this is one of the worst accidents that I have seen.” The tragic crash closed the southbound lanes of I-95 between Ives Dairy Road and Hallandale Beach Boulevard for several hours.
Source: 4.3.13 Dumel Collision.pdf