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Exclusive: Driver Who Survived Horrific Crash On McArthur Causeway Speaks Out

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) - A Tesla that police say was going nearly 130 miles per hour plowed into a black Infiniti SUV on the MacArthur Causeway.

Three people were left with traumatic injuries.

The driver of the SUV who was hospitalized for nearly four weeks after the accident spoke exclusively with CBS4'S Peter D'Oench.

He showed video of the accident to that driver, Basil Holness Jr., as Holness returned home to Sunrise from work with his young children.

As Holness watched the tape, he said he had not seen it before and was left almost speechless looking at it. "I am alive and God was with me. I can't believe it. I don't remember what happened. I don't remember the car flipping over. When I look at it right now I can't believe it."

"I was left with traumatic brain injuries and had bleeding on the brain and I was in a coma for a few weeks and I am just now getting back to work," he said. "I had spinal and rib fractures and a lacerated liver. I am just now getting back but I must tell you that every day is a struggle."

CBS4's Hank Tester's report on the crash:


"I thank God that I am alive and I thank God for my life." Said Holness. "To this driver I don't know what to say. I heard he was arrested. This was unbelievable."

Earlier Friday, D'Oench received a video of the October 21st, 2018 crash from Miami Beach police.

On it you can see the driver of the SUV attempting to make a U-turn on a green light when it is T-boned by the Tesla, nearly cutting it in half. The force of the impact caused the SUV to flip on its roof.

"It's a shocking video of the crash that resulted after a Tesla traveling at top speed, 128 miles per hour, along the McArthur Causeway," said Officer Ernesto Rodriguez. "At the moment of impact, after he pressed his brakes, it was a 93 mile per hour impact."

It happened just after 1 a.m.

The driver and two passengers in the SUV were seriously hurt.

"These three people suffered injuries, traumatic injuries, and they may never be the same again. We're talking spinal fractures, we're talking collapsed lungs, one with a traumatic brain injury," said Rodriguez.

The driver of the SUV was in a coma for a few weeks at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Jose Soto
Jose Soto (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Basil Hollness Jr. was left with multiple rib and lumbar spine fractures, a collapsed right lung, a lacerated liver and bleeding on the brain.

The driver of the Tesla, 38-year-old Jose Soto, was charged with three counts of reckless driving that caused serious bodily injury.

Rodriguez said the video clearly shows the SUV had the green light for several seconds and Soto blew through the red light with utter disregard for the safety of those around him.

"It shows the dangers of speeding. Just in 2017, close to ten thousand people lost their lives, according to the National Highway Transporation Safety Administration. So it's a message to all those out there to really capture, to really see, what results after you speed."

Police say Soto showed a "wanton and willful disregard" for the safety of others.

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