sports 4 days ago

Story of fatal Miami Beach hit-and-run crash starts with Red Bull and valet parking

The Miami Herald — David J. Neal The Miami Herald

July 16--A Miami Beach hotel worker with a craving for a Red Bull took a car from valet parking and wound up arrested -- not for taking the car, but as the suspect in a fatal hit-and-run, police say.

Miami Beach police say a female pedestrian was struck and killed near the intersection of 38th Street and Collins Avenue around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. The day started with Angel Cuesta working the front desk at Red South Beach Hotel and ended with him in county jail on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving a death.

The pedestrian died at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. As of Sunday afternoon, her identity hasn't been released yet pending next-of-kin notification.

Beach police say Cuesta told them he wanted a Red Bull to help him get through his shift at Red South Beach, 3010 Collins Ave. Figuring the Walgreens at 41st Street and Pine Tree Drive would be open, but too far away to walk, he went into the valet keys cabinet for the keys of a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze.

Cuesta said just past the 38th and Collins intersection, south of a marked crosswalk, the woman was crossing from his right to his left. He said he tried to miss her. He also said he saw her on the ground as he kept going after hitting her. The report notes "extensive damage" to the left front side and bumper. He parked the car in a parking lot at 3535 Collins Ave.

Cuesta's driving record in Miami-Dade County was clean over the last three years, according to online court records. From 2009-14, he received six tickets, three of which were for careless driving, but only a conviction (and $293 fine) for running a red light. He was found not guilty on one of the careless driving tickets. The other two were dismissed.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information is learned.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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