A Palm Beach driver flipped his car on Interstate 95, killing his two passengers and seriously injuring himself. His blood-alcohol content was almost four times the legal threshold for intoxication, court records show.
A 45-year-old of West Palm Beach remains hospitalized after the fatal wreck near Gateway Boulevard, according to court records. He faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
In a search warrant, the Florida Highway Patrol investigators noted that the 45-year-old man’s blood-alcohol level was .295, more than 3 1/2 times the legal threshold for being impaired, .08.
When rescue crews pulled him from the overturned 1996 Ford Explorer, they smelled alcohol on his breath, records state. He told police he had not had alcohol that day but admitted to keeping a cooler of Corona beers in his car.
His two 23-year-old passengers, Luis Pablo Ramos and Domingo Pablo Bautista of West Palm Beach, died at the scene of the wreck, authorities said. Neither was wearing a seat belt. Bautista, who was in the back seat, was thrown from the car and found about 10 feet away from the 45-year-old driver and Ramos, who were still in the car.
The driver claimed he was driving in the center lane when a car swerved in front of him. According to the search warrant, he “described the phantom vehicle as being cream in color.” He said he was heading to his home near West Palm Beach after dropping off a friend in Pompano Beach.
The driver of the phantom vehicle was found some miles away from the crash scene, he had sustain minor non-life threatening injuries. FHP did not release his identity.
The 45-year-old driver will appear before a judge for a bond hearing after he is released from the hospital.
Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious accident resulting in fatalities. We hope the investigators can quickly determine what caused the accident. Please be careful and obey the speed limits whenever you are driving a motorcycle, car, SUV or truck. We hope that all parties involved consult with an experienced trial lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, call my office for a free consultation and find out what your rights are.”
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