You run into some of the nicest people in Coconut Grove and sometimes others run into you. - Glenn Terry, 2016
Six Months ago Francesca and I were in a car accident. While waiting at the light in the middle of the Grove a drunk slammed into our car. The driver, Daniel Recio, staggered out of his Prius, apologized and drove off before the cops could arrive.
As he shuffled around I was able to take photos of him, his car, and his license plate. When the police showed up I gave them all of my information and figured they had an air-tight case.
I was wrong. Today I learned that although they did locate Mr. Recio and gave him a citation, it was later dismissed for being "defective". If this is how the City of Miami Police and the State Attorney's office operate, God help us.
Note: Below is the article I wrote about the accident last fall.
HIT BY A DRUNK, PART I
I drove 11,000 miles across the country this summer. I had no car problems until I returned to Miami. On 10-15-16, at 9 pm, Francesca and I were waiting for the light at Grand and McFarlane.
In the middle of a quiet conversation,
W H A M !
a drunk's car smashed into the back of ours.
It happened in less than a second. Our heads slammed back into our head rests. My Honda was shoved ahead ten feet, just short of car ahead of us.
We looked at each other dazed, and realized neither of us was seriously injured. I climbed out my car to see what had hit us. It was this guy,
Danial M. Lopez-Recio driving a gold Prius.
He quickly asked me not to call the cops adding, "I'll give you $100 cash just to drive off". I asked Francesca to call the police as I surveyed my car's damage (over $2000 worth). I took pictures of our cars, of him, and his license plate. There was a woman in his car. She seemed angry as she made phone calls then walked away.
The guy got in my face and blabbered on. He tried to make me feel guilty because his car's dents were bigger than mine.
I pointed out that he had caused all of them.
The lush went on to try to sweet talk me as drunks are wont to do. He offer went up to $500 payable the next day. He smiled and added "You look just like Robert Redford in that baseball movie!".
Then I knew he was wasted and told him so, "You're messed up, dude". He shrugged and admitted, "Yeah, I'm drunk". There wasn't much more to say.
Francesca called out, "The police are on their way. They want us to move our cars out of the road." I moved mine and asked the guy that if he could move his. The boozer said he would if I gave him back his keys. I had not taken them. Really drunk.
By then a friend of his showed up to locate the boozer's keys and to help him move his Toyota. I told him I would hold back traffic while they moved the dented Prius.
I guess they moved it a very long way because when I turned back they were gone. I never saw him -or his car- again.
A police officer arrived 45 minutes after the collision. He ran the kid's license number so I soon learned who he was, where he lived, and that his car was insured.
I've long had a fear of driving on Saturday nights knowing something like this might happen.
Defensive driving would not have helped, I guess our number was up.
We got away with sore necks and a car that has been in the shop for weeks. The guys lousy insurance company (United Automobile Insurance Company) has refused, thus far, to pay for my car or anything else. The Miami City Police, six weeks later, have still not called me -or returned my calls- regarding whether they would bust the guy who took off.
Of course, it could have been much worse. The drunk could have been driving fifty instead of fifteen. Our problems are small compared to what they could have been. Slowly we're dealing with them.
When you think about all the drunks and distracted drivers it makes you think twice about traveling. Drunks are bad but cell phone drivers are just as big a problem these days. It's enough for make you think, "How crazy can it get?", "Are there any answers?" and "What will happen to "Dan the Drunk" when this case gets to court?"