Alyza Rachel Russell of Fort Lauderdale, Florida allegedly crashed into pedestrians Mackendy Jules and Samuel Artez Martindale on Thursday, news sources report. Jules, 30, and Martindale, 35, both died at the scene. Russell, 22, and two of her passengers were uninjured. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident; it appears Russell may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. So far, there have been no charges. It is unclear whether a suit will be filed.
Sources show this is not Russell’s traffic-related incident. In June 2012, Russell was reportedly charged with driving without light and driving with a license. She later pled no contest to each of the charges, reports say, and a judge later withheld adjudication.
According to reports, the incident occurred at the intersection of Broward Boulevard and Southwest Fifth Avenue. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Science are both located near the intersection. The large parking lot out front of the business is a popular hangout and living space for many of the city’s homeless people.
At around 2:00 Thursday morning, Russell was reportedly westbound on Broward Boulevard when she tried to make a left turn onto Southwest Fifth Avenue. However, Russell lost control of her Porsche and went over the curb and towards the parking lot. A man on the curb narrowly dodged being hit as Russell’s vehicle entered the parking lot and struck Jules and Martindale, who were not in a vehicle at the time of the crash.
“It was like a scene out of a movie,” a nearby witness said. “I heard a screech and a loud crash.” Reports say Jules and Martindale were pronounced dead at the scene; Russell and her two passengers were not injured. Detectives have since said that Russell may have been under the influence of a controlled substance when the accident occurred.
Not all injuries are due to car accidents. 15-month-old Aiden Vadillo of Coral Springs nearly drowned Sunday after his flotation device flipped and left him trapped underwater for several minutes, reports say. Vadillo was taken to an area hospital for treatment. It is not currently known whether any parents or guardians will face charges for the incident. A police investigation is ongoing.
According to reports, the incident occurred at the Rivers Edge Condo community pool in the 9500 block of Southwest 1st Court. Family and friends had gathered at the pool to celebrate Vadillo’s 6-year-old sister’s birthday. Reports say Vadillo was in a flotation device in the pool at around 3 p.m. when the device flipped, trapping Vadillo’s head under the water.
A family friend noticed that Vadillo was trapped several minutes later and rushed him out of the pool, reports say. Vadillo’s grandfather gave the boy CPR as the family waited for emergency crews to arrive. Reports say Vadillo was taken to Coral Springs Medical Center, where doctors were able to get him breathing again. It is not clear whether the child will suffer any permanent damage due to the incident.