Crash Dummies

Watch out where you walk in Miami

Once here, Carrillo had worked a variety of odd jobs, from landscaping to pouring concrete. This past June, while walking home one night to his apartment near Mowry Drive, he had been knifed in the abdomen, arms, and face during a robbery. "He was scared it would happen again, so he left Homestead," Brito says.

Family members including Sanchez and Brito soon raised the $2225 necessary to ship Carrillo's body to Guatemala. He was buried in a family plot in a cemetery a half-mile from his hometown.

This past September 15, Alan Lefebvre was piloting his late-model Chevrolet van near Federal Highway and Van Buren Street in Hollywood when he swerved off the road, jumped the sidewalk, and slammed into a pole, a speed sign, a bus bench, and an 86-year-old woman named Florence Destefano, who was out on her morning stroll. The 45-year-old carpet installer continued motoring until he reached the Ives Dairy Road exit of southbound I-95, where officers from the Hollywood and Miami-Dade Police departments pulled him over.

The Miami Gardens resident was driving with a suspended license and no insurance. After issuing sobriety tests, the cops impounded his van and transported him to the three-bedroom house he shares with his mother at NW Third Avenue and 204th Terrace.

Soon they discovered he had quite a criminal record. In 1976 Lefebvre was convicted of felony burglary. A year later he was placed on six months' probation after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In 1980 he was convicted on another felony burglary and served 2 years 33 days in jail.

In his first serious traffic accident, Lefebvre was 34 years old and traveling eastbound on Taft Street at 66th Avenue in a 1993 white Chevy truck. It was about 6:23 p.m. on January 14, 1995, when Lefebvre viciously rear-ended a 1989 Dodge truck. The impact was so powerful it rendered the Dodge's passenger, Ismael Borrero, unconscious. He also fractured his right arm in two places.

Three witnesses then observed Lefebvre fleeing the scene, driving erratically, and, at one point, traveling against traffic on Taft, thus running several vehicles off the road. Lefebvre lost control of his truck and smacked into a cement pole, several signs, and the First Baptist Church's metal fence. He opened the driver's-side door and staggered into the street. When a police officer approached him, Lefebvre tried to climb over the fence.

The errant driver was transported to the Hollywood Police station, where he submitted to three sobriety tests and the Breathalyzer. He missed the tip of his nose several times when he performed the finger-to-nose test. He attempted the heel-to-toe exam, but the cops stopped him out of concern he was going to fall down and injure himself. Yet he blew a .000 on the Breathalyzer. When he was asked to provide a urine sample, Lefebvre refused.

Hollywood Police charged him with driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident with injuries. He served eleven months in jail and three years of probation. In 1997 he was arrested for violating his probation. He was then arrested for knowingly driving with a suspended license in 1999, 2000, and 2001.

After hitting Destefano in September, Lefebvre told the Miami Herald he had dozed off and thought he hit a bus bench. "I kept driving because it didn't look like it was nothing," he said. Lefebvre did not return three phone messages left with his mother Betty, who did not want to talk about her son's troubles. "You'll have to speak to him about that," she said this past October 15.

Destefano suffered internal bleeding and multiple broken bones, including a smashed pelvis and a compound fracture of her right leg. The four-foot eleven-inch, 100-pound Port Chester, New York native survived, but she spent a month in the intensive care unit at Memorial Regional Hospital.

Destefano, who has never married and was nicknamed "Bingo Flo" by her neighbors, moved to Hollywood in 1976, her younger brother Rocco explains. He gave her a job as a secretary at his law practice. Bingo Flo would walk from her condo on Eighteenth and Jefferson to Young Circle every day. "The doctors say her leg will never fully recover," Rocco adds.

The 74-year-old retired attorney complains his sister's hospital bill will easily exceed $200,000, and Medicare will cover only 80 percent. "I don't know where the rest of that money is going to come from," he says. "And this guy who ran her over is driving around with no insurance. Son of a gun."

Rocco is upset that Lefebvre has still not been charged criminally and that he has gotten away with so much for so long. "He keeps getting out of jail due to the liberal judges we have in Florida," Rocco sneers. "I don't know how he's allowed to be on the road. He'll probably kill someone next time."

According to Hollywood Police spokesman Det. Carlos Negron, investigators are waiting for toxicology reports confirming Lefebvre was under the influence before they formally charge him with leaving the scene of an accident and other possible felonies. "We want a solid case against this guy," Negron says.

Since he hasn't been charged, Lefebvre is free to walk the streets or perhaps even drive. He doesn't seem to mind getting behind the wheel without a license.

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