As Hurricane Matthew was approaching South Florida, an SUV sped along Miramar Parkway and crashed in a fiery wreck, severely injuring the driver and his wife and killing their 3-year-old girl, authorities say.
“This case is an absolute tragedy,” prosecutor Scott Strauss said at a court hearing Wednesday.
Ryan Basdeo, 29, of Pembroke Pines, was arrested Tuesday. He was charged with vehicular homicide in baby Sophia’s death and faces several DUI charges in the crash on Oct. 6, 2016.
That afternoon, the child was not in a safety seat and her parents were not using seat belts, according to a police report.
Basdeo failed to maintain control of a Mitsubishi Outlander through a sharp curve and was speeding more than 60 mph in a 25 mph zone on the 6660 block of Miramar Parkway, the report said.
The SUV skidded off the pavement and hit a guardrail and two trees. Two Miramar police officers heard the crash and arrived to find flames and smoke coming from the SUV’s engine compartment.
The officers and good Samaritans pulled the trapped driver and his passengers, Sophia and her mother, Alana Battoo Basdeo, from the Mitsubishi.
The adults required surgeries and rehabilitation. Their daughter died about 19 hours later at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, according to the report.
“The fatal crash occurred during the Hurricane Matthew [approaching storm] warning, when very few people were out on the roadway,” Strauss, the prosecutor, said.
The couple is divorcing, according to court records.
Authorities say Basdeo’s blood-alcohol content was .10, higher than Florida’s .08 legal limit for safe driving.
Defense attorney Chris Narducci said Basdeo formerly worked in a warehouse but cannot work because of surgeries and infections after the crash.
“He is not a violent criminal,” Narducci told Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica. “He has no other significant criminal record whatsoever.”
Seeking to win a lower bond for his client, Narducci said, “He doesn’t own property, he has no job, he has no money. … He’s been around for two years, knowing this was going to happen.”
The Broward State Attorney’s Office charged Basdeo with aggravated manslaughter of a child; DUI manslaughter; DUI with serious bodily injury to another; vehicular homicide; reckless driving causing serious bodily injury; and two counts of DUI property damage.
Mollica ordered that Basdeo be held on bonds totaling $111,000.
He also must surrender his passport and, if he bonds out of jail, wear a GPS monitor and alcohol monitor and obey a curfew unless he is working, Mollica said.
Linda Trischitta Contact Reporter South Florida Sun Sentinel
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