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Good Samaritans Who Ran to Help Victims After Plane Hit SUV on Haulover Inlet Bridge Speak Out




Several good Samaritans jumped into action to help the people on board a small plane and SUV that were involved in a fiery crash on the Haulover Inlet Bridge.

Marlene Hernandez and her daughter Marleene described the harrowing moments when they saw the Cessna 172 zoom toward the bridge, located in Northeast Miami-Dade, just before 1 p.m., Saturday.

“It was right on top of the roof of our car,” said Marlene.

Moments later, the single-engine aircraft burst into flames, as dark smoke billowed into the sky.

“It was out of a horror movie,” said Marleene.

Also witnessing the impact was good Samaritan Beau Borges.

“I just started to come up on the bridge as the plane hit and it struck the car,” he said.

Marleene said she quickly grabbed her young son and ran the other way to get to safety..

Meanwhile, her mother ran toward the red SUV that was hit by the plane head on. Inside the vehicle was a mother and her two toddlers.

“I said, Mom, come back! Mom, where are you going?’ Because I’m afraid this is going to explode,” said Marleene.

Marlene said she was reacting in the moment.

“I knew it was dangerous, but God gave me the strength,” she said.

Marlene said she reached woman and children, who by that point had exited the SUV. She hugged the survivors on the bridge.

“I told them, ‘Everything is fine. You’re alive, you made it, you’re alive,’” she said.

“That mom and those kids, it’s a miracle that they are here,” said Marleene.

Borges, meanwhile, zeroed in on the occupants of the Cessna.

“I put my van in park. I started running towards the plane,” he said.

Investigators said two people inside the Cessna were able to get out on their own.

Borges said he reached the aircraft and helped the two passengers.

“An older gentleman was trying to help one guy off the floor, so I grabbed the guy with him, we pulled him to the sidewalk,” said Borges.

By that point, more people had stopped to help.

“As we turned back, we realized that there was another man kind of on the rear of the plane, and everybody helped him get to the sidewalk,” said Borges.

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene shortly after.

Sadly, the pilot of the Cessna, Narciso Torres, died at the scene. He was a veteran air traffic controller at Miami International Airport.

In a statement issued to 7News, Saturday night, the president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said, “Narciso touched so many people with his warmth and kindness, both with NATCA, in the facilities he worked and in every interaction he had.”

Marlene and Marleene believe the pilot’s quick thinking saved their lives and many others.

“By a miracle of God it wasn’t worse,” said Marleene.

As of late Sunday night, authorities have not yet released the names of the surviving victims.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are leading investigation into the crash. Officials said it is still very early in their investigation to determine what caused the crash.

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California Gets More Rain and Snow, but Dry Days Are Ahead




LOS ANGELES (AP) — More rain and snow fell during the weekend in storm-battered California, making travel dangerous and prompting evacuation warnings over flooding concerns along a swollen river near Sacramento.

Bands of gusty thunderstorms started Saturday in the north and spread south, with yet another atmospheric river storm following close behind Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Up to two inches (5 cm) of rain was predicted for the saturated Sacramento Valley, where residents of semi-rural Wilton and surrounding communities were warned to prepare to leave if the Cosumnes River continued to rise. The warning was downgraded from an evacuation order Sunday afternoon.

Gusts and up to 3 feet (91 cm) of snow were expected in the Sierra Nevada, where the weather service warned of hazardous driving conditions. Interstate 80, a key highway from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, reopened after being closed most of Saturday because of slick roads and snow.

The University of California Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Sunday morning that it received 21.5 inches (54 centimeters) of snow in 24 hours. Its snowpack of about 10 feet (3 meters) was expected to grow several more feet by Monday.

A backcountry avalanche warning was issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area, through Monday.

The California Highway Patrol rescued three people whose car slid off a rain-slicked road and ended up teetering at the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Friday. The occupants of the car “were scared for their lives and were in disbelief” when they were pulled safely from the car as the vehicle’s front end hung precariously over the cliff’s edge, the highway patrol said in a statement.

“We cannot stress this enough. Please ONLY drive if it’s necessary,” the statement said.

Just to the south in Santa Cruz County, the tiny community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was under an evacuation warning.

The swollen Salinas River swamped farmland in Monterey County. To the east, flood warnings were in effect for Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley, where Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Saturday to take stock of problems and warn of still more possible danger.

“We’re not done,” Newsom said. He urged people to be vigilant about safety for a few more days, when the last of a parade of nine atmospheric rivers was expected to move through.

Several roads, including State Route 99, were closed because of flooding Sunday in San Joaquin County.

In Southern California, winter storm warnings and advisories were in place for mountain areas, where many roads remained impassable because of mud and rock slides. Two northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County were closed indefinitely after a hillside collapsed.

Downtown Los Angeles set a rainfall record Saturday with 1.82 inches (4.6 cm), the weather service said.

The series of storms has dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, unleashing debris flows, and triggering landslides.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in affected areas.

At least 19 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after being swept out of his mother’s car by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

Dry days are in this week’s forecast for California starting on Tuesday.

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After Dallas Zoo Leopard Escape, Cut Found in Monkey Habitat




DALLAS (AP) — Police investigating after a clouded leopard escaped her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo say a cutting tool was used to intentionally make an opening in the fence of the small cat’s habitat, and a similar cut was found at a habitat for small monkeys.

Dallas police said Saturday evening that they did not know if the two incidents were related. None of the langur monkeys escaped and none appeared to be harmed.

On Friday, arriving zoo workers discovered that a clouded leopard named Nova was missing from her habitat. A daylong search ensued, during which the zoo was closed while staff and police combed the 100-acre (40-hectare) grounds. She was discovered by late afternoon near her habitat.

After it was determined that Nova wasn’t injured, the zoo said that she spent Saturday with her sister, Luna, in their habitat, “perched up on a high branch while oh-so-many guests stopped by to wish her well.”

Police and zoo officials have said they have reviewed surveillance footage but would not say what it showed or whether there were potential suspects.

Animals have escaped enclosures from the Dallas Zoo before. Most notably was in 2004, when a 340-pound (154-kilogram) gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall and went on a 40-minute rampage that injured three people before police shot and killed the animal.


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Davie Honors MLK’s Legacy With Poetry Readings, Live Performances




A South Florida community came together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Town of Davie hosted its annual celebration at the Pine Island Multipurpose Center’s gymnasium, Sunday afternoon.

The ceremony featured a poetry contest, live performances and refreshments.

Town of Davie Mayor Judy Paul and town councilmembers also spoke at the event.

Sunday would have been King’s 94th birthday.


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