Renegade Road

A woman perishes in a collision with an Indian leader's kin. Her family cries coverup.

Will Furry says it's "not shocking" that his sister might've made an impulsive late-night trip to the casino, but why she would've been almost five miles west of it is a "complete mystery," he says.

"I don't know what happened, which makes it really tough to deal with," Arancibia says. "I don't understand the silence."

Arancibia will most likely never make another trip to the casino. She tries to avoid being reminded of Tatiana's absence. "I think of her like she's gone on a trip," she confides. "I let myself believe that she's gone to visit California, or maybe she's out doing a charter — that she's doing something that made her happy."

Tatiana Furry treated her beagle TJ like a son, says her mom Helene.
Courtesy of the Furry family
Tatiana Furry treated her beagle TJ like a son, says her mom Helene.
Glades airboat captain Jesse Kennon witnessed the aftermath of Tatiana Furry's fatal accident.
C. Stiles
Glades airboat captain Jesse Kennon witnessed the aftermath of Tatiana Furry's fatal accident.

----------

In mid-March, nearly two months after Tatiana's death, an editor at the Miami Herald received an envelope with no return address, according to an account given Will Furry by reporter David Ovalle. Inside was what appeared to be a Miccosukee Police report on the fatal accident, as well as six computer printouts of photos taken at the scene. Also included was a letter slamming the tribe's police department, apparently written by a disgruntled officer. The Herald published the report and photos even though they weren't officially verified. The letter was withheld.

If genuine, the documents cast some light on the other people involved in the accident, all of them young Miccosukee men: Clifton Huggins III, age 17; Travis Osceola, 18; Jared Tiger, 24; and Billy Cypress's grandson, Kent Billie, 20.

The reports also contradict Det. Russell Barnes's assertion to the Furrys that there were two people in the other car. (Indeed, Miccosukee attorney Lewis confirms the four men were "involved" in the accident.)

Tribal Officer Abner Rodriguez arrived at the scene at 4:12 a.m., according to the report, and was immediately approached by Huggins and Osceola. "We were traveling east to go fuel up at Dade Corners," Osceola told the officer, referring to a gas station located kitty-corner from the Miccosukee casino at Krome Avenue. "And we saw this pickup truck heading straight at us." (Rodriguez didn't return a call seeking comment.)

Rodriguez noted a "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Clifton Huggins' breath."

The cop made his way to the overturned Ford Expedition, where he found two people still inside. The driver, Billie, was splayed in the center of the truck, "unresponsive" but alive, according to the police report. Tiger was crawling through a blown-out rear window. Rodriguez helped him out as two more tribal cops arrived.

Turning to the Nissan Frontier, Rodriguez found Tatiana lying on the "rear passenger side seated in a crouched position." There were no vital signs. When a Miami-Dade squad car arrived, Huggins was apparently perturbed. He remarked, "Ah, man, they're not going to handle this and fuck with us, are they?" according to the report.

While paramedics treated Huggins for a "minor laceration to his left arm," two Miami-Dade Fire Rescue choppers arrived and airlifted Billie and Tiger.

The Herald's coverage of the accident had at least one glaring inconsistency. The newspaper stated Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopters "transported two seriously injured men from the SUV — one 25, the other 35, to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami." Neither age matches that of Kent Billie or Jared Tiger, the men who were airlifted, according to the leaked report. (Contacted by New Times, Miami Dade Fire Rescue declined to release Air Rescue records.)

The Herald took the leak one controversial step further, submitting the materials to local accident-analysis expert William J. Fogarty, who determined "Furry's Nissan Frontier crossed over the median and into the Ford," causing the wreck. But one of Fogarty's colleagues, Miles Moss, notes that far more rigorous testimony would be required in court. He calls the conclusion "speculation."

Attorney Lewis says the theory that Tatiana was at fault is "in line with my own findings." He claims to have "hard, concrete evidence" Tatiana had spent the night drinking heavily at the casino and had become "unruly... She was out at the hotel for several hours, gambling and drinking throughout. Unfortunately, she had been asked to leave, but she got in her car despite the fact that security tried to call her a taxi."

Lewis does not elaborate on the source of his findings. As per county policy, Tatiana's blood was drawn at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office, but those results have not been made public.

The lawyer attempts to win sympathy for his clients. "They're four young boys, two of whom have suffered serious injuries, one of which was life-threatening," Lewis laments. "These are kids who were out playing computer games and videogames before this accident occurred."

----------

The morning of Monday, April 6, an orderly in blue scrubs rolls a wheelchair-bound Kent Billie into the Broward County Courthouse, just south of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Billie's crumpled outfit consists of a blue striped button-down shirt tucked into pajama pants and puffy socks under rubber sandals. His left pant leg is rolled up to accommodate a heavy brace screwed into his gauzed shin. His hair sticks up wildly, and the goatee he sported in an old mug shot has been shaven. He's accompanied by two older female relatives wearing bright dresses. Even with tattoos peeking out from the edges of his clothing, the 145-pound, five-foot-five-inch 20-year-old looks like a sickly pediatric patient.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
evalye
evalye

I am Naive American Indian, I am proud of my heritage and the progress we have made in the dominant "white" world. My father served in two wars fighting for this country. I was raised to respect all mankind, and hold all life as precious, and to be a teacher to those who wanted knowledge about my culture. I try to live by my family examples.

I am appalled at what I have read here. I am thinking what has happened to these people? Is this really happening? Then I remembered, my brother who was considered important and a prominent member of our tribe. He had an alcohol addiction he struggled with over a number of years. He was a successful business man despite the addiction, as he could stay sober for years at a time. His last months were spent drinking and within a four month period, he was stopped for DUI's three times by trbal police. He never went to court, and if he did he was slapped on the hand and let go. The fourth time he killed himself, and another.

I recieved an anonmynous phone call four days after his death from a gentleman describing himself as a police officer, he said," your brother and the other killed would be alive if I had done something, I am sorry". I know this type of thing exists everywhere. In defense of Native people its not just in "Indian Country". As human beings we all fail. We need to address these issues together.

Mike
Mike

I am sorry it is Tiger not Tyler.

Thank you

Mike
Mike

I see that the gangs have infected the natives too....Don't tell me those are native tattoos because they are not..That's a gang tattoo on tyler's neck.

Nestor
Nestor

There are more examples of misconduct by this tribe. In the early 90's it was common practice to purchase vehicles and simply not make payments. They would then drive into the reservation where banks were unable to reposses. On one instance, a tow truck driver, carrying a concelaed weapon permit was arrested after being given access to the reservation. His waepon was in his vehicle. The truck was impounded for about a year. DO NOT SPONSOR THESE PEOPLE'S LACK OF RESPECT. DO NOT VISIT THEIR CASINOS. YOU ARE ON THEIR TURF PLAYING BY THEIR RULES, AND THEY ACT WITH IMPUNITY!!!

Moses
Moses

It is a shame to read about this. Native Indians need to take control of their actions. They need to stop acting like little rich brats. I would suggest everyone to stop going to the Indian Casinos because they take your money, and they get you killed.

I always supported Native Americans because this is their land, and It was taken from there. However, it doesn't mean that they can hurt or do whatever they want. The law should apply to everyone equally. Steven Segal always obey this rule in his movies....Making everyone believe that natives were pasive people, but I guess not..

kat
kat

seriously... grow up (mary tiger). perhaps if you do, the children (judging by your last name) of your tribe would be able to grow up as well?! it is ridiculous for an indian tribe to be so set on not being part of the US when apparently they can't handle their own "territory" on their own anyway? let it be your deal if it was indians you killed on that highway - but it wasn't! it was US citizens. seriously... grow up. i hope that the truth comes out and the tribal police are able to admit what happened with some pride and respect for themselves.

ANA
ANA

TO: MARY TIGER, What they are writing is not lies, it is the truth and by your last name i would say you are probably an indian person. Get a hold on these irresponsible young men and stop hurting other people. I hope they go to Jail. They dont seem to care only about themselves.

ANA
ANA

GREAT STORY, much more information than the Miami Herald.I am shocked with the police records from the occupants of the car with the four indians. No wonder they were not speaking they were trying to cover up as much as possible. All Kent Billie does is get into trouble and the fact he just went to court in april on another incident. Now I see why the indians were hush hush. They tried to make him out as an inicent victim but the truth is he has a record on drinking, drugs and speeding. Shame on you Micossukkee Indians. The state attorneys will get to the bottom of this.

Mary Tiger
Mary Tiger

You should not write anything you don't have both sides of the story. All you are printing is lies. No better than most of the people in charge of this country.

 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...