Photos, Video and More of the Deadly Driver

The Broward Sheriff's Office released more details about the deadly crash on Hillsboro in Deerfield Beach. Some young people from West Boca were involved including a driver now facing vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving charges.

Below, for paid subscribers, are photos and videos of the driver along with additional content related to the crash.

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Tesla Fatal Crash in Deerfield Beach

Sunday morning before 4 am there was a crash on Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach. Readers reported that Hillsboro was closed for as long as 14 hours, and we verified this with both Google Maps and to some extent with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s office has provided almost no detail about this incident.

Update: Sheriff’s Office responded Tuesday morning. The 2o-year-old driver of the white BMW has been charged with vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving.

Just before 4 a.m., Raphael Candido Vilela was driving a 2005 BMW 530i traveling westbound on West Hillsboro Boulevard at a high rate of speed. Sebastian Espinoza was driving a 2018 Tesla Model 3 traveling eastbound in the designated left turn lane, turning northbound on Country Club Boulevard.

As Espinoza’s Tesla entered the intersection, Vilela’s BMW struck the passenger side of the Tesla. The impact ripped the passenger side, rear seats and trunk area off the Tesla.

After impact, the BMW caught fire as it continued westbound for approximately 700 feet. The front wheels of the car detached at impact causing the engine compartment to drag across the roadway.

Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue transported all the occupants to Broward Health North with varying degrees of injuries. Thais Haug, the passenger of the Tesla, died as a result of her injuries. Sebastian Espinoza, the driver of the Tesla, was treated and released with minor injuries.

The driver of the BMW, Raphael Candido Vilela, as well as the three passengers, Alive Silva, Giovannia Silva and Joao Coneglian, suffered serious bodily injuries and remain in intensive care.

The investigation released that excessive speed and driver impairment were the primary factors of the crash. Vilela is now facing charges for vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Traffic Homicide Det. Anthony Morales at 954-321-4840

Our sources tell us that the white car in the middle of Hillsboro is a Lexus (update: Some readers say it was a BMW) and had a driver and passenger both injured. At last report both are still alive.

Remains of the white Lexus

The Sheriff told us there was on fatality and two critically injured. A couple sources tell us that the other car in the accident was a Tesla and that the driver passed away. Our best guess is a Model 3, though we’re not completely sure it’s a Tesla at all. We saw a photo that looked like a Model 3, but the wheel logo did not look like one from a Tesla. We don’t have the rights to include that photo in this article, we don’t have a good enough photo to be sure, and the Sheriff is not talking.

Supposedly this is a Tesla

We don’t know how reliable this is but there is some indication that the White Lexus/BMW driver may have been impaired by alcohol. A source also indicates the white car was driving above the speed limit on Hillsboro when the Tesla came out from a plaza on the side.

If it is a Tesla there’s a good chance it will have video of the incident that can be used to accurately determine fault, and otherwise let everyone know what happened. But that’s only true if the Sheriff decides to share information with the public, which so far they’re not doing.

It is unusual for a crash investigation to take 14 hours. We usually see them take 4-5 hours. And it is also unusual in our experience for police to keep details quiet and be unresponsive when they’re blocking a major road for such a long time.

There is no indication as yet whether the Tesla was operating on auto-pilot, but from the source’s description it does not seem like a situation where a Tesla would be self-driving.

We will reach out to Tesla to see if they can provide any information.

Disclosure: The author owns stock in Tesla and runs an Elon Musk fan club group on Facebook.

50 Restaurant Inspections This Week

It was a pretty good week for restaurant inspections. Only four places in had 10 or more violations, 3 of them in or near West Boca. We went to two of them in the past couple weeks.

There were also a lot of good inspection reports, including Teriyaki Madness in Mission Bay.

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Fraud and Larceny Week

There was a surge in fraud and larcenies. along with typical battery and DUI cases, plus an young man in Boca Reserve made the blotter.

The guy in the upper left used to be known as a Wall Street Wise Guy. Then he went to prison. Got out. Came (back) to Boca. Now he may be headed back to prison. The guy in the upper right is an illegal alien arrested for credit card fraud. Find out all the details below.

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Levis JCC Sandler Center hosts Highly-Anticipated 3rd Annual Judy Levis Markhoff Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival

Three Weeks, 40+ Films, Two Thumbs Up

It’s time for ‘lights, camera, action’ as The Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center’s Sandler Center revs up for this year’s newly named Judy Levis Markhoff Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival (BRJFF), which runs from March 10 – March 31, 2019.  Now among the top 10 Jewish Film Festivals in the US, this year’s BRJFF features the best narrative, documentary and short films from around the world.  The broad array of films explores the Jewish experience, culture, history, identity, and topics relevant to Jewish life with a diverse collection of over 44 international and independent premiere films from over 19 countries.  Films will be screened at Cinemark Palace 20 Theaters in Boca Raton from March 10-23 and at Movies of Delray from March 24-30 and at Beifield Auditorium at the Levis JCC Sandler Center on various dates.

The Festival’s opening night on Sunday, March 10 will take audiences on an unlikely adventure with the dark comedy To Dust starring odd couple Matthew Broderick and Géza Röhrig.  To Dust was the winner of both the Audience Award and Best New Narrative Director at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is a Palm Beach County Premiere.  Director and South Florida local, Shawn Snyder and the star of the film, Géza Röhrig (star of the Academy Award-winning ‘Son of Saul’) will be making special guest appearances and will host a post-screening discussion. 

The closing night film at Cinemark on March 23 will feature the US Jewish Film Festival Premiere of The Bird Catcher, a Norwegian thriller about a 14-year old girl who had to assume a new identity as a boy in order to navigate her survival on a remote snowbound farm amidst the hostility of Nazi-occupied Norway.  The event will be attended by Director Ross Clarke and Producer Lisa Black.

Fans of the BRJFF will mambo their way into the final closing night of the Festival on March 31 at Zinman Hall with the premiere screening of the documentary ‘Mamboniks,’ a film with a huge connection to the New York transplants of South Florida.  Surprisingly, many of Mambo’s biggest fanatics were Jewish, a diverse, offbeat group of devotees whose zeal for mambo dancing earned them the hipster nickname: “Mambonik.”  Following the film there will be a concert and dance party with several local ‘Mamboniks,’ and the Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated band PALO, who will be performing their own style of Cuban music they call “Afro-Cuban Funk.”

Other not-to-be-missed films:

  • Golda’s Balcony – a film of the original Broadway show starring Tovah Feldshuh
  • The Unorthodox – a film that is one of Israel’s biggest box office hits of the year
  • The Other Story – directed by Avi Nesher, one of Israel’s most renowned filmmakers
  • King Bibi – a film based on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Family Practice – US PREMIERE of a feature situation drama from Switzerland

Additionally, three official entries to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film will premiere at the Festival including Slovakia’s The Interpreter, Austria’s The Waldheim Waltz, and Russia’s Sobibor. 

“Due to the overwhelming success of our last two Festivals, we will be joined by more high-profile producers, directors, actors, and scholars from around the world than ever before.  We have been so touched by the outpouring of support from our community for this Festival and for our year-round programming,” said Wendy Honig, BRJFF Artistic Director. 

The full 2019 Program Guide including dates, show times, a synopsis of each film and theater location is available on bocajff.org.  For individual general admission tickets or information on sponsorships and passes, please call 561-558-2514 or visit the Levis JCC Sandler Center Box Office located at 21050 95th Avenue S., Boca Raton.