When she was broadsided by a woman in a stolen car, Amanda Robinson had no idea what had happened. In the early morning of August 9, 2017, she was driving south on Biscayne Boulevard when another motorist plowed into the side of her Kia Sorento. First responders used the jaws of life to free her from the crushed SUV.
"I just remember the ambulance, and they were cutting me out of the car and all I could smell was gasoline," Robinson says today.
The 35-year-old spent ten days in the hospital, where she was treated for a broken hip and other injuries. After her release, she spent three months in a wheelchair. To this day, Robinson says, her feet tingle when she wakes up in the morning, and walking is painful.
Now Robinson has filed a lawsuit against the Village of El Portal and North Bay Village. She says the two police departments failed to properly notify her that a dangerous police pursuit was underway that morning. The complaint accuses both departments of negligence and claims the crash was preventable.
"This is just a situation where they fell well beneath the policing standards they should be held to," says her attorney, Jonah Wolfson.
Police reports, dispatch logs, and red-light camera footage help to reconstruct what transpired that morning. Records indicate Surfside police spotted the stolen 1997 Honda Accord and tried to stop the driver, who fled southbound on Harding Avenue. North Bay Village officers picked up the chase as the driver, later identified as 20-year-old Laqasia Paige, headed west on the 79th Street Causeway and eventually onto NE 82nd Street.
During the chase, an assisting officer from El Portal parked his patrol car just north of NE 82nd Street on Biscayne Boulevard. Video footage shows the officer did not stop traffic or turn on the cruiser's emergency lights. Minutes later, as Robinson drove south on Biscayne, Paige blew through a red light and crashed into the driver's side of the Kia. Robinson, Paige, and Paige's passenger were rushed to the hospital with incapacitating injuries.