ORLANDO, Fla. - There was plenty of damage left after an SUV slammed into the side of an event hall on Edgewater Drive in Orlando early Sunday morning. One of the venue’s owners said there was a party going on inside when this all happened.
The crash was caught on surveillance video from a business across Edgewater Drive. The video appears to show the SUV crashing into the side of the building and continuing into a utility pole near where several people were standing. Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said one of those people went to the hospital with serious injuries and later died.
The venue's co-owner, who didn't want his name to be used, said he wasn't there when the accident happened.
"It's a tragedy," he said, "from what I heard there was a death. Right now, I believe Highway Patrol is investigating to see exactly what took place, and I'm trying to figure out what transpired and what actually took place."
Trooper Migdalisis Garcia said another person inside the building had minor injuries. She said after the crash, the driver and several passengers got out and ran.
"Staying on-scene," she said, "even if you are at fault for the crash or whatever it is, will definitely help the situation, and it only makes it worse when you flee the scene, and you only face bigger and worse charges."
The FHP said they tracked the car to its owner, who quickly identified the people inside. The passengers in the car pointed the finger at 20-year-old Alexis Leon Lima as the driver, and Garcia said after they read him his rights, he confessed to the hit-and-run. "The way that the driver himself was willing to cooperate and provide statements, that's how we were able to have such a quick arrest."
FHP said they were still investigating what caused the wreck in the first place. The event space owner said he feels for the victims and is happy they made an arrest quickly. He said right now they were just taking stock of the damage.
"Obviously, the business is shut down. We do want to get back to getting the business opening, but we also want to make sure it's safe for everybody to come in."