Tow Truck Driver Arrested in Fiery Crash That Killed Miami-Dade College Professor – NBC 6 South Florida

Tow Truck

A tow truck driver has been arrested in connection with a fiery crash in Miami last month that killed a Miami-Dade College sign language professor.

Jose Garcia, 49, turned himself in Tuesday to face a vehicular homicide in a reckless manner charge in the Dec. 11 crash, an arrest report said.

Miami-Dade Corrections

Jose Garcia

Loved ones identified the man killed in the crash as 69-year-old Jose Granda, a leader in the deaf and gay community.

The crash happened just after midnight in the area of Southwest 22nd Avenue and Southwest 17th Street.

The arrest report said Garcia was driving a tow truck that collided with a Honda CR-V driven by Granda.

The CR-V skidded for about 83 feet before it hit a curb and flipped onto the driver’s side, then skidded another 57 feet before coming to a stop, the report said.

An off-duty police officer witnessed the crash and helped witnesses flip the CR-V back onto its wheels, but the CR-V became fully engulfed in flames and the officer and witnesses tried to extinguish the fire until fire rescue arrived, the report said.

Granda, who was 69, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim of a fiery weekend crash in Miami has been identified by loved ones as a leader in the deaf and gay community. Jose Granda spent more than 30 years teaching American Sign Language at Miami-Dade College.

Garcia was taken into custody after performing roadside exercises and was taken to get a breath sample, but he refused and a warrant for a blood draw was executed, the report said.

In an email, Garcia’s attorney, Michael Catalano, said blood was drawn 4.5 hours after the crash and it came back zero for drugs and alcohol.

According to the report, Garcia’s tow truck had white and amber flashing lights activated and an audible siren as he traveled at a high rate of speed in a residential area.

One witness said the tow truck was switching lanes when overtaking slower moving vehicles before the crash, the report said.

The posted speed limit is 35 mph, but the tow truck data showed it was going 81 mph about three seconds before the crash, according to the report.

“Due to the defendant’s driving patterns and very high rate of speed, he demonstrated a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others and property in the area,” the report said. “There was no evidence of braking on the roadway prior to impact.”

Garcia was booked into jail and given a $7,500 bond, records showed.

Catalano disputed the speed noted in the report, saying it’s hard to believe the truck could have reached 80 mph in two blocks. Catalano also noted that the other driver made a fast turn in front of …….


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