Witness recounts deadly North Bay Village hit-and-run; family of victims in shock

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NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Florida. – A witness whose dashcam captured Monday night’s death hit-and-run accident in North Bay Village recounted the moments before and immediately after the flaming wreckage in an interview with Local 10 News.

A woman and her two daughters were killed in the crash on John F. Kennedy Causeway near Harbor Island Drive.

They have not been publicly identified. Police are still looking for the suspect, 24-year-old Julius Bernstein.

Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos spoke to the victims’ husband and father. He’s out of the country, but says he’s still in shock and trying to figure out what happened.

Assaf Almog saw it unfold before his eyes.

“This guy came really fast,” Almog said. “It was like 80 to 100 miles an hour and then it hit her.”

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Almog was stopped at a red light on Harbor Island Drive when his dash cam captured the wreckage. This shows what police said was Bernstein’s black car that slammed into the woman’s sedan as she attempted to turn left.

“The second he hit her, her car immediately exploded,” he said.

Almog said he and others tried to help the victims, but the flames were too intense. He and others saw an officer pull a woman from the fire, unaware that the driver of the other car would get out and run away, leaving the victims for dead.

“I don’t understand how he got away with it because it was a really crazy accident,” Almog said.

A man who lives nearby said Bernstein knocked on his door asking for help and a place to hide after the accident.

“He said ‘it’s Julius.’ He says “I have money,” said Brandon Menard.

Ménard did not open the door and said the suspect had to “surrender”.

Local 10 News stopped at a Homestead address linked to Bernstein. While no one answered the door, a neighbor who said he went to school with the wanted man said Bernstein had always been in trouble with the law.

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“(He) had issues. The cops had been here multiple times,” Jason Geffrard said. “I would definitely tell him to recognize it.”

Court records show Bernstein has a long criminal history, including at least three charges of fleeing an officer, and was on probation until 2023 at the time of the accident.

Anyone with information on Bernstein’s whereabouts is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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