A car struck a police car near Collins Ave. and 16th st. in South Beach, Miami, at around 4 a.m. May 30, touching off a police chase and firefight that killed the driver and injured others.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where PR Seminarians will meet starting this Sunday, is on Collins Ave. between 16th and 17th Sts. About 200 members of PR Seminar and their spouses and guests will gather for a meeting that lasts from June 5-8.

Comments on the Herald story were that South Beach had become a “war zone” dangerous to residents and visitors.

“This is unacceptable and must be controlled before we totally lose our city, tourism and residents,” said civic leader Herb Sosa in a posting.

Police Chief Carlos Noriega said the driver sped away after the accident, nearly hitting cops who had to jump from their bicycles as he drove on the sidewalk and struck “countless” cars with his own vehicle for about three blocks.

A YouTube video taken from above Collins Ave. showed the car going south and skidding to a stop as shots are fired. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A link to one of the videos is no longer available. Visitors to YouTube find the message: “This video has been removed by the user. Sorry about that.”

Another YouTube video was still online at press time:

Four bystanders were shot during the chase, possibly by police bullets. No gun was found in the car.

About 450 police gathered in the area.

In another incident, a car entered a shut-down area near 14th st. and Washington ave. and crashed into a police car, drawing fire from one of the officers. There were no injuries.

'Urban Weekend' Draws Crowds

The Memorial Day weekend is also known as “Urban Weekend,” an annual event that draws hundreds of thousands.

Residents and others posting on the Herald website said that on Collins, Ocean and Washington avenues it becomes “crowded, busy and rowdy … like spring break” and that crime includes cars and homes being vandalized.

Sosa asks that courts declare and end to “Memorial/Urban Weekend.”

The preliminary program for PR Seminar shows no journalist speakers for the first time. Journalists have criticized reporters and editors for being at a meeting of the group but failing to write about it.