A pregnant woman was killed Sunday in Fort Lauderdale when a car crashed through a fence and into a pool cabana at the Riverside Hotel.
Teaching assistant Alanna DeMella, 27, of Medford, Massachusetts was on vacation with her husband, Michael, when she and her unborn son of seven months were killed Sunday around 1:30 p.m., the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Police said driver Rosa Rivera Kim lost control of her car while driving by the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard, hitting the curb, jumping the sidewalk, and crashing into the cabana DeMella had entered to use the restroom.
"A big almighty explosion, that's what it sounded like," witness Darren Gordon told Local 10. "Tragic accident. It's sad. There was no breaking. No screeching of tires, just a big explosion."
Witnesses said that Michael DeMella, who suffered minor injuries, was crying “Why? Why?" as others at the pool tried in vain to free his wife from the wreckage.
“It was very traumatic,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue spokesman Matt Little told the Miami Herald. Investigators have yet to determine if charges will be filed.
The weekend was an exceptionally deadly one in South Florida, with nine other people killed in car accidents, the AP reports.
In Miami-Dade County, four people were killed in a car accident on the Gratigny Expressway and two in a hit-and-run while changing a tire. In Broward County, a 5-year-old girl playing outside and a 14-year-old skateboarder were killed by hit-and-run drivers, and a churchgoer was dragged by a vehicle on a church lawn.
Advocacy blog Transit Miami called this weekend’s deaths a part of the public safety crisis in South Florida.
“Even by our region’s dubious standards, the events of the past 24 hours reveal a wickedly toxic, over-motorized culture that is creating not just ‘traffic accidents’ but rather a public safety crisis that demands urgent attention at the highest levels," wrote blogger Craig Chester. "‘March Madness’ belongs on basketball courts, not our roads."
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