Good Samaritans who ran to help victims after plane hit SUV on Haulover Inlet Bridge speak out – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

NORTH EAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Several Good Samaritans jumped into action to help people aboard a small plane and SUV involved in a fiery crash on the Haulover Inlet Bridge.

Marlene Hernandez and her daughter Marleene described the harrowing moments as they saw the Cessna 172 hurtle toward the bridge in northeast Miami-Dade just before 1 p.m. Saturday.

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

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

“That was from a horror movie,” said Marleene.

The Good Samaritan Beau Borges also witnessed the impact.

“I was just starting to get onto the bridge when the plane hit the car,” he said.

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

Meanwhile, her mother ran toward the red SUV, which was hit head-on by the plane. A mother and her two young children were in the vehicle.

“I said mom, come back! Mom, where are you going?’ Because I’m afraid it will explode,” said Marleene.

Marlene said she was reacting at the moment.

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

Marlene said she reached out to the wife and children, who had exited the SUV at the time. She hugged the survivors on the bridge.

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

“This mother and these children, it is a miracle that they are here,” said Marleene.

Meanwhile, Borges targeted the occupants of the Cessna.

“I parked my van. I ran to the plane,” he said.

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

Borges said he caught the plane and helped the two passengers.

“An elderly gentleman tried to help a guy off the ground, so I took the guy with me, we pulled him onto the sidewalk,” Borges said.

By this time more people had stopped to help.

“When we turned back, we found that there was another man at the back of the plane and everyone was helping him get onto the sidewalk,” Borges said.

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene shortly thereafter.

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

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

Marlene and Marleene believe that 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 evening, authorities have not released the names of the surviving victims.

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

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Laura Coffey

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