|Published:||Dec 20, 2013 11:44 AM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 20, 2013 11:44 AM EST|
MIAMI (AP) - A single, divorced dad heading to a Secret Santa gift exchange with his daughter died in a fiery crash on a remote stretch of a Miami-Dade County roadway.
Arturo Javier Montenegro's 6-year-old daughter Norvel Jannett and two people in the speeding BMW that hit them also died in the Wednesday night crash.
The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/1dVtu7r ) reports the BMW was burned beyond recognition. The occupants of the BMW - Miguel Remedio Gonzalez, 26, and Lazaro Miguel Remedio Palacio, 56 - were identified on Thursday by dental records.
Montenegro, 47 and Norvel were running late to weekly meeting of a group that works with Honduran immigrants. Authorities say the BMW spun out of control, crossed the median and crashed into Montenegro's Honda Civic. It flipped over the other car, landed on its roof and burst into flames.
"It's bad. It is bad," said Joe Sanchez, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol. "I've been doing this for 25 years. And this is up there."
The crash site is along a well-lit but isolate stretch of Okeechobee Road in northwest Miami-Dade County. Officials say there is a history of racing along the road.
"We're in shock," said Francisco Portillo, president of the Francisco Morazan Honduran Integrated Organization. Montenegro worked for the group, along with running a printing and design business. "We're dismayed because they're irreplaceable."
Just before the crash, Portillo heard from his friend who said he and his daughter were running about 15 minutes late. They expected to arrive in time for the Secret Santa name drawing.
Portillo told The Herald that Montenegro pushed for immigrant rights and worked hard to provide for his daughter. He had custody of the child. Family members are working to get a humanitarian visa for Montenegro's older daughter who lives in Honduras.
Family friend Johony Ovalles said the father and daughter were inseparable. "Like that, they left together."
Gonzalez, the driver of the BMW, lived about two miles from Montenegro. On Thursday, Gonzalez's girlfriend told the newspaper she was too distraught to talk.
Sanchez said even veteran traffic homicide investigators were left shaken by the crash.
"This is a tragedy all around," he said.
Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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