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Garbage Truck Drives Off Ramp, Lands In Miami Park

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- An investigation is underway after a truck landed in a Miami park Monday evening.

The driver of a City of Miami garbage truck drove off the ramp of I-95 and landed in Jose Marti Park located at 351 SW 4th Street.

"He lost control of the vehicle, damaged about 50 feet of concrete wall, flew off the ramp," said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez.

A small group of young witnesses told CBS4's Hank Tester they were playing basketball at the park when they heard the truck hit the concrete railing.

"It seemed like slow motion coming down," said Claudio Padron.

The truck landed between the swimming pool building and the community center.

"When it fell down, it sounded like a bomb," said Jorge Chacon.

Garbage Truck Crash 3
(Source: City of Miami Fire Rescue)

They said they saw the driver who was ejected from the truck and thought he was dead.

Not only was he not dead, he was talking.

"This driver is starting to come around a little bit which will provide crucial information on what happened," said City of Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

The driver was identified as Kaseem Smith and he has been with the city of nine years.

Rescue crews rushed him to Jackson Memorial Hospital in serious condition.

Friends, family and coworkers gathered at the hospital to pray for Smith's recovery.

"If one of our own members has a problem, we have a problem. If he is in pain, we are in pain. So we are here to show our support," said Joe Simmons.

Accident investigators sorting through the wreckage, knowing this could have been far worse.

Garbage Truck Crash 2
(Source: City of Miami Fire Rescue)

A few cars were damaged in the accident, but no other injuries were reported.

The off ramp which funnels major traffic into Downtown Miami and the Brickell area will be closed for quite some time as major repairs are made.

"I could not believe it, like I was day dreaming. It did not feel real. My heart pumped," said Jorge Fuente.

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