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1 dead, 1 hospitalized as van ends up in pond in SW Miami-Dade

MIAMI - A man died overnight at Kendal Regional Medical Center and a woman remains in critical condition after their blue Toyota van went out of control and plunged into a pond in Southwest Miami-Dade late Friday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a man and a woman were pulled from the van and taken to Kendall Regional in critical condition and while it was initially believed a child was also in that vehicle, FHP says that was fortunately not the case.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and police divers did scour the pond and the vehicle in case a child was in that van.

Lt. Alex Camacho of the Florida Highway Patrol told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that "There was a child restraint sear in that vehicle and there was concern that a child might be in it."

Camacho said it was 11:30 when FHP and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue received the call that a blue Toyota van that was southbound on the Florida Turnpike was attempting to exit onto Southwest 8th St. to go westbound.

Camacho said, "Independent witnesses said the vehicle lost control and overturned, driving off the roadway into the pond. They said the vehicle lost control while attempting to negotiate a curve."

Camacho said it was not known if speed was a factor.

As this happened, dozens of people stopped on S.W. 8th St to observe the divers and police activity and traffic came to a near standstill on the highway.

Camacho said, "Some good Samaritans did stop and tried to help the occupants in the vehicle. There were concerns there was wildlife in the pond. We believe an alligator or two were lingering around. Divers responded immediately. They were able to rescue an adult male and female. Both were transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center."

So far they have not been identified.

Camacho said the accident showed how careful you have to be as a driver whether you are near a body of water or not.

He urged drivers to have a window-breaking device with them or at the very least have a plan in case they were ever trapped in their vehicles in a body of water.

Camacho said, "If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle is in a body of water, try to have a plan in order to save your life."

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