Sandro Michel Hit His Wife While She Drove; She Lost Control and Crashed in a Lake; He Died

A domestic-violence dispute early yesterday morning in Pembroke Park ended with a car plunging into a lake, one man dying, and sheriff's deputies jumping in to rescue his wife and 3-year-old daughter.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, someone phoned in a report about a couple fighting around 12:30 a.m. yesterday in the 3800 block of SW 20th Street, but when deputies arrived, they couldn't find anyone.

That's because 27-year-old Sandro Michel was hitting his wife (he had three prior domestic-violence arrests) while she was driving, causing her to lose control of the car and plunge into a lake.

A BSO corporal then heard "cries for help" coming from somewhere in the darkness, when she noticed it was a woman struggling to stay afloat in the lake.

Deputies Casimiro Navarro and Michael Francis hopped in the water, and Navarro was able to pull Michel's wife to safety -- although she was screaming that her 3-year-old daughter was still stuck in the car.

Navarro swam back out and noticed the girl's limp body float to the surface.

The girl was taken to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, and as of yesterday evening, she was in critical but stable condition, according to the sheriff's office.

Michel's wife was taken to the hospital but has since been released, and Michel himself was found dead inside the car in the lake.

Michel's body was taken to the medical examiner's office, and the BSO homicide investigation unit will continue looking into what happened, the sheriff's office says.

According to the Broward Clerk's Office, Michel has been arrested three times on domestic-violence charges, the most recent one ending with his being sentenced in May to probation.

Criminal traffic charges were also filed yesterday against Michel by the Pembroke Pines Police Department -- due to an unrelated incident -- which was the fifth criminal traffic case brought up against him.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley