Police have arrested Earl Lewis of Miami-Dade, Florida for allegedly crashing into Jose Eduardo Cepeda Luna, 57, and his son Eduardo Cepeda, 34, on the side of the Dolphin Expressway. Lewis then allegedly stole the car of one of the victims to escape.
Lewis, 32, faces charges for leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving without a license, and grand-theft auto. He was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where he is being held on $2 million bond. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to the arrest report, the alleged crash happened on SR-836 on the morning of February 9. Cepeda lost control of his pickup truck and crashed into a guardrail on the Dolphin Expressway, just east of Florida’s Turnpike.
Cepeda was unharmed in the crash. He called his father, who arrived shortly after in a Chevrolet Equinox. As the pair were on the side of the expressway, someone driving a Chevrolet Camaro lost control and crashed into them. Luna and his son died at the scene; the driver of the Camaro got out of their vehicle and then fled the scene in the Equinox.
“Two individuals were outside the pickup when a Camaro came in the same direction and lost control and collided with the Silverado pickup truck,” FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez told the press.
Authorities claim the hit-and-run driver was Lewis. The Equinox was found abandoned near Homestead and DNA retrieved from within reportedly matched Lewis.
Luna and Cepeda were the sole providers for their families. Cepeda is survived by his wife and two children, and Luna left behind a wife, four kids, and several grandkids.
“He died protecting his son. My father-in-law loved his children,” Josephine Sandelis-Cepeda told the press about Jose Cepeda last month. “These men are honorable men, kings in our family.”
Hit-and-run accidents are a big problem in South Florida. FHP statistics show that the number of hit-and-runs in the region go up every year. Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties have the highest number of hit-and-run incidents in South Florida.
Drivers involved in a crash that causes injury, death, or property damage are required by law to stop and wait for authorities. Fleeing the scene of a crash only increases the severity of the potential penalties faced by the driver.
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