Father and son Jose Eduardo Cepeda Luna, 57, and Cesar Eduardo Cepeda, 34, were killed on the morning of February 9 in a hit-and-run crash on the Turnpike in northwest Miami-Dade.
According to FHP investigators, Cesar Cepeda was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup east on SR-836 when he lost control and crashed into a guardrail.
Stranded on the side of the highway, Cepeda called his father, who arrived shortly after in a Chevrolet Equinox. Investigators believe the two men were outside their vehicles when a Chevrolet Camaro hit them.
The driver of the Camaro was also driving east on State Road when the vehicle reportedly lost control and struck both men and their parked cars. The father and son died at the scene. The driver of the Camaro got out of the vehicle and then fled the scene in the Equinox. It was found abandoned in Homestead thanks to an Onstar device.
“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 news sources.
FHP investigators searched the Camaro at FHP headquarters for clues and possible DNA evidence that could help them identify the driver. They reportedly located the owner of the vehicle but that person was not the hit-and-run driver. The owner gave FHP the names of people who had access to the vehicle, but investigators still don’t know who the driver was.
As the search for the hit-and-run driver continues, the family of the deceased is asking whoever it is to turn themselves in and bring the family some peace.
“Bring justice to the man who left them behind,” family member Josephine Sandelis-Cepeda told WPLG Local 10. “That could’ve been me and that could [have] been you out there, so unite and help us.”
Relatives and friends of Luna and Cepeda say they were the sole providers for their families. Luna is survived by his wife, four children, and several grandchildren. Cepeda left behind a wife and two small children. The family has set up a donation page to help pay for funeral and burial expenses.
Hit-and-runs accidents are a huge problem in South Florida. Statistics from the FHP show that the number of such accidents has increased every year, from 72,000 crashes in 2012 to over 99,000 in 2016. Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties have the most incidents in the region.
Florida law requires a driver to stop if they are responsible for an accident that causes property damage, personal injury, or death. Fleeing the scene will only increase the severity of the possible penalties. Accidents can be extremely stressful situations and the adrenaline rush that follows can cause a driver to make irrational decisions. Whatever your situation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you deal with the aftermath and navigate the Florida legal system.