Dad Arrested for DUI Crash that Killed 2 Toddler Sons and Injured Another Son on Easter Eve ’22

TAVARES, Fla.—A father is in the Lake County Jail on no bond after being arrested for DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle without a driver license causing death, stemming from a crash that killed his two young sons on Easter Eve in 2022.

David Shawn Pelfrey, 22, was picked up at his home in Fruitland Park on a warrant Thursday, nearly two years after the crash that killed his young sons, Damian and Dominic and seriously injured their younger brother Daylen.

Inside Lake spoke with the boys’ mom, Miranda Martin, by text Monday and she said Daylen is 3 years old now and doing well.

“Daylen is extremely smart, and the only visible scar left was the one on his head from the surgery he had to have but he’s been through a lot, he actually remembers his brothers and he talks about them often. If he’s asked where Damian and Dominic are he will say “they’re my angels in the sky” and that warms my heart,” she said,

Martin said the arrest has been a long time coming.

“I just want my boys to be remembered, I had to patiently wait for this day to come and for an arrest to be made. Throughout all the time that’s gone by I have had to overcome a lot mentally while (Pelfrey) lived his life like he wasn’t bothered, he’s never apologized and showed no remorse. My life was destroyed, and finally my children will get the justice they deserve and the attention they deserved since this happened. There will never be enough justice no matter what his sentence is because their lives are over. They’re not going to come back but now he has no choice but to sit in isolation and remember them and process that he was at fault for this and now I don’t feel like I carry the weight of the pain from their loss alone anymore,” Martin told Inside Lake.

“Damian was a very intelligent child and extremely mischievous and mature for his age, he loved (play) guns, and I would go as far as saying he was obsessed with them and had a collection of nerf guns, he was as much of a daddy’s boy as he was a mama’s boy. Dominic, he was my mini and a wholehearted mama’s boy, he loved dinosaurs and he thought he was a dinosaur we called him Dino-Dom. He was goofy and always happy and so destructive. My children were amazing boys, and they deserve to be remembered and I’m glad they’re finally getting justice.”

Photo courtesy of Miranda Martin

Shortly before 5:45 p.m. April 16, 2022, Pelfrey, who did not have a valid license, was driving a red 2011 Kia Optima westbound on State Road 46 near Wekiva Pines Road in Sorrento and passing vehicles in a no-passing zone, the Florida Highway Patrol said in 2022. The Kia entered the eastbound lane and the path of a blue 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup truck being driven by Carey David Duryea, of Lake Mary. Duryea took evasive action, according to witnesses, and traveled onto the south shoulder. Pelfrey traveled onto the same shoulder and struck the Tundra head-on, causing it to overturn and catch fire. The impact ejected Damian Pelfrey, 4, and his little brother, Dominic Shane Pelfrey, 2, from the Optima and they were both pronounced deceased on the scene. Their younger brother, Daylen Scott Pelfrey, then just 1 year old, was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando.

Pelfrey, and another passenger, Justice Marie Lavery were transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford along with Duryea, Natalio Ramirez Velazquez and Olinto Garcia. Aldrin Greeis Perez Rodriguez and Marvin Armando were transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares.

Witnesses told FHP Pelfrey was driving between 65 and 75 miles per hour and one witness said she could smell alcohol when she went to the car to check on the occupants following the crash, according to a probable affidavit.

Photo courtesy of Miranda Martin

Troopers later traveled to Sanford to speak to Pelfrey and obtain a blood sample and he refused. They obtained a search warrant for Pelfrey’s blood, and it was drawn twice, at 2:15 a.m. and 2:16 a.m. April 17, 2022—nearly nine hours after the crash. A test performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement revealed the presence of fentanyl, THC and hydromorphone in his system. That test did not show the presence of alcohol, but FHP secured a search warrant for medical blood taken at 7:59 p.m. April 16, 2022, about two hours after the crash. That blood sample, tested using enzymatic testing, showed Pelfrey had a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .135, more than 1.5 times the legal limit.

The sample was also sent to the University of Florida Pathology Laboratories, which used chromatograph testing. Its test showed Pelfrey’s BAL was .102 and did not show the presence of drugs.

A warrant was issued for Pelfrey’s arrest Jan. 14, and he was picked up at his home Thursday and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on no bond. Pelfrey is also facing a charge of kidnapping and battery in a separate case. That case remains open.

Previous story: Two Leesburg Toddlers Killed, One Airlifted in Fiery Easter Eve Crash that Shut Down SR 46 – Inside Lake

Photos courtesy of Miranda Martin
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