Transit Bus Takes a Turn for the Worse


Miguel Lemus

On Sep.16 a metro bus crashed into a Ford Ranger causing it to swerve into Omega Fashion Store.

Miguel Lemus, Staff Writer

On Sunday Sept.16, in Miami’s Little Haiti, residents’ typical morning routine descended into chaos when a Miami-Dade metro bus collided with a Ford Ranger and crashed into a clothing store located at Northwest 2nd Avenue and Northwest 54th street. As a result, authorities closed off both lanes until the removal of the bus.

“It is crazy how those passengers on the bus were just having a normal day and all of a sudden everything took a turn for the worse. I honestly would not know what to do with myself if that happened to me while taking the Coral Gables Trolley,” junior Astrid Valdez said.

Witnesses have reported that the Ford Ranger was speeding at almost 50 miles per hour and ran a red light, which caused the bus to crash into the Ford Ranger. Due to the bus’s harsh impact, the two passengers of the Ford Ranger were immediately rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital to treat their serious injuries. After Miami Fire Rescue evaluated 10 of the passengers on the bus, they reported that eight of them suffered only minor injuries. Those passengers were also transported to the nearest hospital as a further safety precaution.

Authorities worked to find an alternative way to remove the bus without the collapse of the building.

When authorities arrived at the crash site, they noticed that the bus had crashed into two of the buildings’ support beams, creating a high risk of the store collapsing upon removal. Despite this, the Miami Fire Rescue team worked to find an alternative way to prevent the collapse of the 90-year-old structure. After carefully analyzing the situation, they used a wooden column to provide structural support for the building while leaving the bus in its original place to take further safety measures.

Due to the central location of the crash and the media-amplified concerns over the safety of Little Haiti, local businesses increasingly lost revenue over the course of the week following the incident. Miami Food Depot, for instance, has lost almost all of their customers since the crash occurred, along with a local Haitian restaurant. The site has become somewhat of a spectacle – many visitors have been coming by to observe the crash site instead of actually purchasing food or other goods.

The future of the 40-year-old Omega Fashion Store is especially uncertain. The substantial damage caused by the accident and the arduous process of rebuilding may mark the demise of the shop in the near future. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Arsene Omega, owner of Omega Fashion Store, told the Miami Herald.

“The fact that the owner of the store has owned Omega for almost 30 years is concerning to think that he is at risk of losing everything he’s probably worked for his whole life. This really reflects how passengers and drivers should always be aware of their surroundings because you never know what may happen when you are not,” sophomore Emily Gonzalez said.

Local 10 News
The remains of the Ford Ranger that crashed into the Metro bus.

After almost five days of non-stop preparation for the removal of the metro bus, authorities successfully freed the bus from Omega Fashion Store on Thursday afternoon without any collapse. The active removal process took hours, as the metro bus had to be pulled slowly so contractors could install metal poles for further support of the structure.

The hustle and bustle of daily traffic have resumed since authorities re-opened Northwest 2nd Avenue and Northwest 54th street. For Arsene Omega, however, it will take more than a few hours for his daily routine to resume. The business owner has been given three days to gather his belongings before the structure is demolished and the slow reconstruction process begins.