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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

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

Pedestrian Killed after Walking in front of Eustis Man’s Truck in Seminole County Wednesday

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla.—A pedestrian was killed in Seminole County after walking into the direct path of truck being driven by a Eustis man Wednesday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The 72-year-old Maitland man was crossing U.S. 17-92 at Spartan Drive around 6:30 a.m. when he walked in front of a 2002 Toyota Tundra being driven by a 34-year-old Eustis man. Witnesses told FHP the Eustis man had a green light.

The Maitland man was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center and pronounced deceased; the Eustis man was not injured and remained on scene. The crash is under investigation.

Pedestrian Killed after Walking in front of Eustis Man’s Truck in Seminole County Wednesday Read More »

Lady Lake Woman Killed Monday after Crashing into Tree in Marion County

MARION COUNTY, Fla.—A Lady Lake woman was killed Monday morning after losing control of an SUV and crashing into a tree, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The 49-year-old woman was southbound on Southeast 47th Avenue north of Southeast Highway 42 when she lost control for an unknown reason, traveled into the northbound land and struck a tree off the west shoulder around 9 a.m. Monday, FHP Lt. P.V. Riordan said.

She was pronounced deceased on the scene and was not wearing a seatbelt, Riordan said.

Lady Lake Woman Killed Monday after Crashing into Tree in Marion County Read More »

FHP: Lady Lake Man Flees Fatal Citrus County Crash, Captured in a Pasture by Citrus Deputies

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla.—A Lady Lake man is accused of being drunk, causing a crash that killed a man and fleeing the scene Sunday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Robert Brandon Vanzant, 31, of Lady Lake was speeding southbound in a Ford F-150 on North Carl G. Rose Highway and passing traffic on the shoulder shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins said.

Vanzant merged back into traffic near East Spruce Drive and rear-ended a Honda Accord being driven by a 62-year-old Lecanto man. The impact propelled the Honda across the road, where it struck a bridge rail and then collided with a second Ford F-150 being driven northbound by a 42-year-old Beverly Hills man.

The Lecanto man was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The Beverly Hills man suffered minor injuries.

Vanzant, who was not injured, left the scene, dumped his truck at a nearby gas station and fled on foot into a pasture where he was apprehended by Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Gaskins said.

Vanzant was later arrested by FHP for DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash with death, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries and driving while license suspended with death.

FHP: Lady Lake Man Flees Fatal Citrus County Crash, Captured in a Pasture by Citrus Deputies Read More »

Umatilla Man Killed in Early Morning Crash Identified

EUSTIS, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed the identity of the man killed after he crashed into a tree Saturday morning.

Tyler Evans, 27, of Umatilla, was driving a 2016 Nissan Versa northbound on County Road 439 near Dairy Road in unincorporated Eustis when he lost control, left the roadway and struck a tree around 5:15 a.m., FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

Evans was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, where he was pronounced deceased. He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

According to a gofundme created to benefit Evans’ family, Tyler loved music and spent many years playing drums in his church youth group. He also loved planes and was taking flying lessons. He grew up in Lake County with his sister Bria, and his parents, Jeremy and Amy also grew up in Lake County.

“Tyler will be missed by many,” the gofundme states.

At press time, the fundraiser had raised $6,050 of its $15,000 goal, to donate visit In Loving Memory of Tyler Evans.

Umatilla Man Killed in Early Morning Crash Identified Read More »

Umatilla Man Killed after Losing Control of Car and Crashing into a Tree

EUSTIS, Fla.—A Umatilla man was killed before daylight Saturday morning after losing control of his car and striking a tree, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The 27-year-old man was driving a 2016 Nissan Versa north on County Road 439 near Dairy Road, in unicorporated Eustis, shortly before 5:15 a.m. when he lost control for an unknown reason, left the roadway and struck a tree, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said. The man was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, where he was pronounced deceased.

The crash closed County Road 439 for more than five hours and remains under investigation, Crescenzi said.

Umatilla Man Killed after Losing Control of Car and Crashing into a Tree Read More »

Single-Vehicle Crash Takes Out Wall in Eustis Neighborhood Early Monday

EUSTIS, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate a single-vehicle crash that took out a wall in a Eustis neighborhood early Monday morning.

A 32-year-old Sorrento man was driving a 2014 Jeep Compass westbound on State Road 44 near Estes Road when he lost control, ran off the road and crashed into a wall at the Brookshire neighborhood just before 2 a.m. Monday, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi told Inside Lake.

A resident of Brookshire, who wished to remain anonymous, told Inside Lake the damage to the wall is estimated at $50,000. The Sorrento man was not injured, and the crash remains under investigation, Crescenzi said.

Single-Vehicle Crash Takes Out Wall in Eustis Neighborhood Early Monday Read More »

Orange County Wrong-Way Crash Seriously Injures Mount Dora Woman, Kills Ocoee Woman

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.—A Mount Dora woman was seriously injured, and an Ocoee woman was killed in a wrong-way crash on State Road 429 early Thursday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Around 3:10 a.m., the Ocoee woman, 44, was driving a 2013 Nissan Altima northbound in the outside southbound lane near Orange Blossom Trail in the direct path of a 2020 Toyota Rav 4 being driven by a 29-year-old Mount Dora woman, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

The Mount Dora woman attempted to swerve to avoid the Altima, but the two vehicles collided, Crescenzi said. The Ocoee woman was transported to Advent Apopka Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased; the Mount Dora woman was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

Orange County Wrong-Way Crash Seriously Injures Mount Dora Woman, Kills Ocoee Woman Read More »

Pedestrian Killed Near Leesburg Wednesday Morning

LEESBURG, Fla.—A pedestrian walking in the road was struck and killed in Leesburg Wednesday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Around 6:30 a.m., a 63-year-old Leesburg man was driving a 2020 Volkswagen Passat eastbound on Griffin Road near Pioneer Trail when he struck a 55-year-old Leesburg man who was walking in the eastbound lane of Griffin Road, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

The pedestrian was transported to UF Health Leesburg Hospital and pronounced deceased; the driver of the Passat was not injured. He remained on scene and told troopers he did not see the man walking in the road. The crash remains under investigation, Crescenzi said.

Pedestrian Killed Near Leesburg Wednesday Morning Read More »

Villager, 76, Killed in Marion County Crash Saturday

MARION COUNTY, Fla.—A 76-year-old woman of The Villages was killed Saturday morning after she pulled out in front of a pickup truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The woman was driving an SUV east on Northwest 85th Loop at U.S. Highway 441 and attempted to make a lefthand turn onto U.S. Highway 441, around 9:30 a.m. She pulled out in front of a pickup truck traveling in the outside southbound lane and the front of the truck collided with the left side of the SUV. FHP said.

The woman was transported to HCA Ocala Hospital, where she later died from her injuries. The driver of the truck, a 38-year-old Ruskin man, was seriously injured, along with a male passenger of Kennett Square, Penn. Two other passengers in the truck, a male and female, also of Kennett Square, suffered minor injuries.

Villager, 76, Killed in Marion County Crash Saturday Read More »

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