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FHP IDs Driver Accused Of Causing Fatal Crash Involving Several Vehicles, Including School Bus

MIAMI (CBSMIAMI) — Florida Highway Patrol has identified the driver they say hit and killed a pedestrian before smashing into several vehicles, including a school bus full of kids.

FHP told CBS4 that 38-year-old Lavarius Bethel will face charges for the fatal crash.

CBS4 did some digging and found out Bethel has been pulled over dozens of times for traffic violations, including driving with a suspended license.  On top of that, he has a lengthy criminal background.

"It was really gruesome," said a witness.

"You just heard a large impact," said Nelson Martinez, another witness CBS4 spoke with.

He was at work when he heard the crash.

"I said, 'We gotta go, we gotta go, we gotta go.'  I ran over there and sure enough there was three cars smashed into the bus plus the car involved in the accident," explained Martinez.

He immediately jumped into action.

"There was about seven of us trying to pull the guy out of the car, the black Audi.  It was smashed in.  We had to break through the door to get in there," said Martinez.

Troopers said Bethel was getting off the 826 at NW 103 Street when he hit and killed a pedestrian, and then smashed into a school bus and several cars.  In surveillance video, you can see Bethel driving extremely fast.

"It was like a movie.  Like somebody literally getting slaughtered," said Martinez.

One person was killed and several people were injured.  The crash was so tragic that one witness CBS4 spoke with had a hard time talking about it.

"To be honest I don't like to recollect on it.  I try to just pray on it and keep going," he said.

Bethel has yet to be arrested but troopers say charges are coming. His arrest record dates back to 2002.

"I think everyone wanted to go after the guy who caused the accident.  It got intense," said Martinez.

Troopers did collect a blood sample to see if Bethel was impaired.  Those results are pending.  Troopers have yet to ID the pedestrian who was killed.

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