Motorcycle Victim ID'd: Jeffrey Valarezo of Delray

WARNING: This article contains photos that may upset some readers. If you don’t want to see them, don’t scroll down.

A fatal motorcycle accident backed up traffic on Palmetto Park Road and horrified drivers passing by on Monday evening.

Reader photo looking westbound on Palmetto Park Road.

Sources led us to think we knew who the victim was and the Sheriff’s office just confirmed it was Jeffrey Valarezo (20) of Bolero Circle in Delray Beach.
We think Mr. Valarezo may have been a student at Spanish River High in the past, but we’re not sure. We also think his family may be from the country Ecuador. He was registered to vote here in Florida.
One reader told us she saw it happen:

There was no driver at fault: I saw what happened. He was on the lane next to me going the opposite direction. He just tried to switch from the middle lane to the right hand lane right at that curve right before the bridge and he lost control. I saw it all and I haven’t stopped crying because I’m still in shock that I just witnessed this.

From this reader it appears Mr. Valarezo was traveling eastbound on Palmetto Park Road coming up to the bridge over Boca Rio and the Turnpike. The police report does not provide much detail as to how the accident happened or if anyone was at fault.

V-1 was traveling eastbound on W. Palmetto Park Road approaching Boca Rio Road. V-1 struck the center median. D-1 lost control of the vehicle and came to final rest on the median. D-1 was ejected off V-1 and struck a tree. D-1 died on the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.

Valarezo’s motorcycle ended up in the median of the roadway.

WARNING: This is where the photos get more troubling for some readers. Stop now if this bothers you.
SERIOUSLY — IF THIS BOTHERS YOU, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN



Further west his body lay on the ground near a tree. Not long after it happened several passers by attended to his body in the hope they might be able to help.

Later the body was obscured by a yellow covering:

Friends of Mr. Valarezo expressed their sadness:

He was a beautiful soul with a smile always on his face. He was loved by all his friends and he will be missed.

He was an amazing person and didn’t deserve what happened to him, even if it were his fault or another. Today heaven gained an angel and he will be riding in the skies smiling down at us. You will be greatly missed Jeff

We noticed expressions of concern from a wide variety of places including Ecuador, Cuba, South Africa and more.
This location on Palmetto Park Road has seen many serious accidents. Readers complained that something should be done to make it safer, though it’s not clear what caused this accident or that any change to the roadway would have prevented it.
It should be also noted that Mr. Valarezo was wearing a helmet.

Sandalfoot Woman Arrested in Fatal Crash

Laura Haggerty; image by PBSO
Laura Haggerty; image by PBSO

The Broward Sheriff’s Office issued a press release regarding the arrest of a Sandalfoot woman from a fatal crash that occurred on Loxahatchee Road in Parkland back in May:

Broward Sheriff’s Office traffic homicide investigators have arrested a Boca Raton woman who killed her passenger in a single-vehicle crash on Mother’s Day in Parkland.
Laura Haggerty, 47, was taken into custody Sept. 30 with the help of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. She faces two DUI/Manslaughter charges and one charge of vehicular homicide.
Around 4 p.m. May 8, Kelly Rider, 35, was a passenger in a Ford Explorer that was heading eastbound on Loxahatchee Road. Laura Haggerty was behind the wheel. Haggerty lost control of the vehicle near the 12200 block when her SUV drifted off the road. Haggerty overcorrected, causing the vehicle to veer across the roadway and collide with the guardrail on the north side of the street. The SUV then began to spin in a counterclockwise motion, before rolling over.
Rider, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was ejected. Coral Springs Fire Department pronounced him dead at the scene. BSO Air Rescue transported Haggerty to Broward Health North.
According to BSO detectives, she was speeding and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.25.

The BSO report indicates that both Haggery and Rider lived at the same address on Sailfish Road in Watergate Estates, just north of the west stretch of Sandalfoot Blvd.

Photo of Rider and Haggerty from Rider's Facebook page.
Photo of Rider and Haggerty from Rider’s Facebook page.

Teen Skater Arrested in West Boca for Broward Hit and Run?

Greg Holt mugshot from PBSO
Greg Holt mugshot from PBSO

Update: Broward Sheriff records indicate Holt was arrested for Grand Theft Auto. For now at least there are no charges indicating he caused the fatal accident. 
Greg Holt, a globally ranked street skateboarder from Deerfield Beach, was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office last night, just a few days after his 18th birthday.
gregholtblotter
A reader reported:

They arrested […] who is suspected in the hit and run in coconut creek on Saturday night that killed the single dad.

Coral Springs Talk reported that police were searching for a male approximately 18 years of age from that incident. Charlie Ruiz (39) was killed in the accident.

Charlie Ruiz and his daughter; photo from Coral Springs PD
Charlie Ruiz and his daughter; photo from Coral Springs PD

We have reached out to PBSO and Coral Springs police to verify if Holt was arrested because of this incident. And we remind our readers that arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.
Holt is well known in the skating community, with over 10,000 followers on Instagram though the posts are restricted to approved followers.
His Facebook profile is full of skating images and videos.
Photo from Holt's Facebook page.
Photo from Holt’s Facebook page.

Update – Further comment from reader:

This was Greg Holt and [we were ] there with him … as the cops had surrounded them as they pulled into the store to get a pizza. We where all held for about 3 hours. … it was Gregs 18th bday and he was coming to see […] after being at the coconut creek party when he flipped the car and killed the vehicle that was hit head on. This is such a tragic situation for all involved. He’s a good kid who had a bright future ahead of him and now it will most likely be spent In prison for the next 20 years. I just keep thinking this could’ve been any of us when we were young. Please keep all families involved in your prayers.

We would predict a prison sentence of 10 years with him getting out in roughly 8 years. It also may be difficult for prosecutors to prove Holt was the driver, that the accident was his fault, and that he has criminal culpability for it (as in the Stracar decision). However, leaving the scene of an injury accident may be easier to prove and that is still potential prison time.

Repeat Offender Recklessly Injures Deputy on 441

Mazariegosorellana
Traffic on US-441 was blocked from Glades to Yamato this morning after a serious accident near Kimberly Road. Hector Mauricio Mazariegos (age 31, Coral Springs) was arrested and charged with several offenses.
According to the Sheriff’s report:

P-1 (the deputy) was working a traffic enforcement operation on State Road 7 just south of Kimberly Blvd with several other deputies. P-1 obtained a speed reading of 97 mph on V-1 (Mazariegos on the motorcycle) in a 45 mph zone.
P-1 stepped into the center lane, faced southbound and was waving V-1 over. According to witnesses the deputy had been out in the roadway for more than enough time for the rider to see him and stop. The deputy was wearing a neon green reflective vest at the time. V-1 slowed and tried to drive around P-1, but at the same time P-1 feared V-1 was going to run him over and moved slightly to his right.
V-1 impacted with the deputy, then made a heavy brake applicated (leaving a lengthy skid mark) and overturned. V-1 slid to final rest at Kimberly Blvd.

Mr. Mazariegos has quite a history in the courts, as explained below the scene photos.

Reader photo of accident scene
Reader photo of accident scene

Reader photo showing what we believe to be the deputy on the ground at the scene.
Reader photo showing what we believe to be the deputy on the ground at the scene.

By our count, Mazariegos has had 9 traffic cases (7 of them criminal) in Broward County dating back to 2007:
mazariegos-broward-1
mazariegos-broward-2
He also was arrested in 2015 in Palm Beach County for driving without a valid license. Despite his lengthy history, that charge was resolved with a fine and “adjudication withheld.”
Similar to a case we reported last year, the prosecutors and courts in Palm Beach and Broward County seem to have a policy of going easy on serious repeat traffic offenders. In the previous incident three young males were badly injured. Now it’s a deputy taking the hit.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg is running unopposed in this year’s election so we can expect another four years of lax enforcement. Mr. Mazariegos has probably run out of luck.
PBSO reports the charges against Mazariegos as:

  • Reckless Driving resulting in serious bodily injury
  • No Driver’s License causing serious bodily injury
  • Driving without a motorcycle endorsement
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Attaching an unassigned tag to a vehicle

Mazariegos’ Facebook page indicates he works (or worked) for Fit Foodz Cafe, which is on Clint Moore near 441.

April Accident Turns Fatal – 441 at Stonebridge

US-441 looking north with Stonebridge on the left and The Oaks on the right; image by Google
US-441 looking north with Stonebridge on the left and The Oaks on the right; image by Google

In mid-April we reported about a serious accident on 441 at the entrance to Stonebridge Country Club.

•••WEST BOCA RATON•••
TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
US Hwy 441/Stonebridge Country Club
PBCFR Station-54 is onscene of a head-on collision, heavy damage, 2 occupants unconscious trapped, extrication is underway, 3 Rescue units requested, 2 ground Trauma Alerts to Delray Medical Center

This morning we learned that the driver of one of the cars passed away on Friday in hospice. Phyllis Panzer, age 88, owned a house in Stonebridge for 15 years.
At the time of the accident the Sheriff’s office described the accident (early evening of April 19th) as follows:

V-1 (Panzer) was traveling northbound on U.S. 441 and was attempting to turn left to head westbound on Stonebridge Country Club Boulevard. V-2 was traveling southbound on U.S. 441 and as it reached Stonebridge Country Club Boulevard, V-1 turned left into its path.
D-2 attempted evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision, but violently struck the front passenger side wheel of V-1 with its front end.
D-1 (Panzer) and O-1 were transported to Delray Medical Center for serious injuries and remain in critical condition. D-2 was also transported to Delray Medical Center but for minor injuries.

Panzer’s passenger, Michael Weitzmann (91), is also a resident of Stonebridge. He suffered critical injuries. We do not have any update on his status.
The police report indicates that Panzer and Weitzmann were not wearing seatbelts. The other driver, Jeffrey Young (59) of Lake Worth, was belted and suffered only minor injuries.

Jim Thompson (53) Killed in Car Wreck on SW 3rd at Lyons

jim-thompson
Friends and family are mourning the loss of James Patrick Thompson. Mr. Thompson passed away in a car accident Saturday night at the intersection of SW 3rd and Lyons Road.
The crash report, prepared by Investigator Loudermilk of PBSO, indicated that Thompson was headed eastbound on Southwest 3rd street, approaching Lyons Road in the right turn lane approaching the intersection with Lyons.
crash-report-sw3rd
A witness indicated “a high rate of speed and at least one flat tire, possibly two.” Thompson lost control of the vehicle, traveled through the intersection, and “violently collided with a traffic signal pole, and palm tree on the northeast corner of Lyons Road.”
Two readers sent us photos of the scene.

Reader photo of accident scene
Reader photo of accident scene

truck-pole
Next of kin were notified and we noticed many friends and family mourning their loss.
james-thompson
West Boca News sends our best wishes in this difficult time to all of them.

Rollover Accident: Photos & Video

All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2016; anyone can use by crediting @WestBocaNews
All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2016; anyone can use by crediting @WestBocaNews

The eastbound lanes of Palmetto Park Road were closed this afternoon between Shorewind Drive (Boca Winds) and Riverside, about 2 miles west of US-441. The closure resulted from a two-car accident where one vehicle, a new Kia Optima, rolled over and an older Lincoln Town Car ended up in the median.

We talked to a few people at the scene, though none saw the accident happen. As best we understand it the Town Car, with an elderly driver, was coming out of Boca Winds making a right turn onto Palmetto. The Optima driven by a West Boca High School student, was traveling straight and was unable to avoid the Town Car. Some suspect the Optima was speeding but we suspect that may not be accurate.
town-car-marks
While the Optima did roll, it did not travel very far from the point of collision, the vehicles did not appear to have dramatic damage (other than from the rollover), and we’re told the injuries were not critical.
The debris trail starts in the lower left corner of the photo.
The debris trail starts in the lower left corner of the photo.

From a legal perspective the general rule is that the vehicle traveling straight (the Optima) has right of way and primary responsibility for the accident falls on the vehicle turning (the Town Car). There did not appear to be any obstruction interfering with the drivers’ ability to see each other.
town-car2
Eventually a tow operator was able to roll the Optima back to right-side up. We caught most of that operation on video, and here’s a short version of that:

Sheriff’s investigators then looked inside the car before it was taken away.
investigators
falls
Tire
wide-scene
town-car1

Major Accident in Delray: West Boca Tesla Driver Involved

Shortly before 10:30 pm on Friday night there was a fatal accident on Linton Blvd at its intersection with Jog Road. Four vehicles and a pedestrian were involved. One of the drivers and the pedestrian were both killed. One of our readers shared this video of the scene:

According to Investigator Fazzino of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, a BMW convertible driven by Alan Ziperstein (age 72) was driving the wrong way on Linton, eastbound in the westbound lanes. Ziperstein, a resident of the Addison Reserve community, collided with a Jaguar driven by Victor Goo (60) of Kings Point, a Tesla driven by Arthur Sezman (76) of St. Andrews Country Club (West Boca), and a Hyundai driven by Gloria Sheehan (82), also of Kings Point.
After hitting the three vehicles, Ziperstein’s BMW continued on, striking pedestrian San Miquel Ramiro (52) of Boynton Beach, and then rolled over.
Sadly, Ziperstein was pronounced dead at the scene and Ramiro passed away at Delray Medical Center. Mr. Goo suffered critical injuries and was also taken to Delray Medical Center. Sezman and Sheehan suffered minor injuries.
We received four photos from readers at the scene:
delray2
delray1
delray3
delray4
It was unclear from the accident report as to why Ziperstein was traveling in the wrong direction and we may never know.

Luis Gonzalez-Vinces Killed in Motorcycle Accident

luis-vinces2
The Palm Beach Sheriff today reported a fatal accident in Boynton Beach. According to the report, Luis Gonzalez-Vinces, a 20-year-old from West Boca, was killed last night when his motorcycle collided with a car near the Turnpike interchange at Boynton Beach Blvd. It is our understanding that he was a graduate of Olympic Heights, though he may have gone to Spanish River.

V1 (Gonzalez-Vinces) was traveling westbound on Boynton Beach Boulevard in the 8200 block at a high rate of speed. V2 was traveling eastbound on Boynton Beach Boulevard and attempted to turn left to head north on the FL Turnpike’s southbound on ramp. The driver of V2 did not see V1 and V1 violently struck the front passenger side of V2. V1 rotated clockwise and its rear struck the passenger side rear of V2. The driver of V2 was pronounced deceased on scene by PBFR.

Gonzalez-Vinces was a resident of the 9000 block of Boca Gardens Trail. Boca Gardens is on the east side of 441 south of Clint Moore and across from Boca Chase.

9000 block of Boca Gardens Trail; image by Google
9000 block of Boca Gardens Trail; image by Google

His Luis Gonzalez Facebook page is filling up with posts from friends who have learned of his passing.
luis-gonzalez-vinces-rip
West Boca News extends our best wishes to his family and friends.
The full report from the Sheriff is below. Please note that the report incorrectly states that the driver of V2 passed away. The Sheriff’s e-mail advised of that mistake. Also the accident is indicated to have happened at 9 pm on Friday.
acc-report

Motorcyclist Killed Friday on Lyons Road

kamciyan
A collision Friday between a 2015 Cadillac and a 2012 Yamaha motorcycle claimed the life of Ara Kamciyan (age 27). Both drivers were residents of Timbers of Boca on the west side of Lyons Road south of Glades. The accident occurred at the entrance to the development.

Lyons Road at Escondido; image and map data by Google.
Lyons Road at Escondido; image and map data by Google.

According to police report Dolores McCabe (age 72) made a left turn into the neighborhood. Kamciyan was coming the other direction (southbound). As a result of the collision his head hit her windshield, and he was not wearing a helmet.
In the police description V-1 is McCabe’s car and V-2 is Kamciyan’s motorcycle:

V-1 was northbound on Lyons Road in the left turn lane. V-2 was southbound on Lyons Road in the outside through lane. V-1 turned into the path of V-2, resulting in the front of V-2 impacting with the passenger’s side of V-1 near the front. D-2 was ejected from his vehicle and him head impacted with the front windshield before he fell to the ground. D-2 was not wearing a helmet. He was transported to Delray Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Kamciyan co-owned a pool and spa business in Fort Lauderdale.
West Boca News reported the accident shortly after it happened on our Facebook page, thanks to a volunteer.
kamciyan-alert
Ordinarily in a collision like this fault would be placed on the driver making the left turn. It is unfortunately common that drivers do not notice motorcycles. At the same time there may be other reasons the accident happened. The police report does not indicate fault.
report-kamciyan
On the legal side, Florida law is quirky when it comes to wrongful death cases. It may be difficult for the family to recover.