Rollover Fatality? 441 Northbound Closed From Palmetto

Fire Rescue posted an alert on Twitter this morning about a car rollover accident on 441 in front of West Boca Medical Center.
Several readers notified us of the situation and sent pictures, including the one above from what looks like one of the Med Center buildings looking down on the situation. It appears from our reader reports that a person was ejected from the vehicle and was killed.

Update: One of our regular contributors advises the person was alive at the time of the photo, and was taken to Delray’s trauma center. PBSO reported that the driver passed away in the afternoon. The driver has been identified as Robin Pace, 59, of Boca Raton

We’re told by readers that 441 northbound is closed going north from Palmetto. Google Maps shows substantial traffic backup, mostly northbound but also problems on the southbound side.
We received another shot from a reader of the car flipped over, though the lighting is bad due to the position of the sun. We edited it as best we could.
One other reader sent us a photo of what we’re told is the other car from this accident:
We received a few more photos.

One final photo – a reader sent us this shot of what appears to be a body on the shoulder of the road amidst debris.

Wear your seatbelt. We received many reader comments about cars speeding or drivers texting. While these may be problems, you can’t get ejected from your car if you’re wearing your seatbelt. Vehicle ejections are extremely dangerous to people. Princess Diana died because she wasn’t belted. Buckle up!


Professional Journalism, Dead Bodies and West Boca News

Every once in a while we write an article that touches a nerve and we get angry criticism. Recently it was over the dead body found in Logger’s Run.
One of the criticisms that irritates the most is the accusation that it’s unprofessional to show the body or anything close to it. Of course we’re not professional journalists. We’re still learning and we will make mistakes. This wasn’t a mistake.
Two recent incidents show how major “professional” media handle similar situations. They don’t hesitate to show dead bodies.
The New York Times, which is often perceived as the elite of all news media, showed the video of Kevin Ward being killed by Tony Stewart’s car.

The video shows the collision and Ward’s body laying on the track afterward. We’ve seen this video countless times now on all major media including the network news, ESPN and more.
The other prominent incident was in Ferguson, Missouri. Various media showed the body of Michael Brown laying in the street after he was shot, such as Reason Magazine. The local Fox News affiliate there showed the body covered with a sheet, but with blood clearly visible.

Update: In late 2014 the Associated Press ran the below image of a dead body floating after the Asian Airlines crash:

The Robin Williams suicide was also covered in great depth, with major media (including the LA Times) reporting how he did it. There have been other suicides over the past several months that we were notified of but did not report. We chose to report the one in Logger’s Run because it closed a road. The public had a right to know what caused the road closure.
While we disagree with the complaints, we did take the criticism seriously. The discussion led us to research the issue and in particular we carefully read guidelines for reporting on suicide from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
We will continue to use our own judgment in deciding what stories to report and what pictures and/or video to use. If we think there’s a concern, we will include a warning. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. We certainly welcome polite and constructive criticism. But stop telling us it’s unprofessional. If it tells the story more effectively, we will use it. That’s what professional news media do.

Body Found in Loggers' Run

Warning: The content of this story and some of the photos may be disturbing.

We reported earlier today that Ponderosa Drive was closed around 11 am today with Sheriff’s Deputies and Fire Rescue on scene. You can see that in the photo above. It was blocked from Woodchuck on the north side roughly to Chipmunk. The good news is that the road is now open. We were there as deputies cleared it around 3:40 pm.
The bad news is that it appears there was a suicide. This is the second body found in West Boca in the past couple months – a body was found in Sandalfoot in June.
The area deputies were focusing on was in the hedge between Ponderosa and the cul-de-sac of New Village Place. You can see it on the map below, and in the photo above – there are utility boxes and one of them is just to the right of the beige car.

Here’s a view of the boxes from New Village Place:
Detectives were on the scene but due to policy in the Sheriff’s office, and probably for good reason, they wouldn’t tell us anything.
We spoke with a neighbor who reports it was a suicide with a gunshot to the head. The gun was in the lap of the deceased.
If you are suffering from depression or suicidual thoughts, then know that you have places to turn to. There are a number of hotlines that can be found online for those who need someone to talk to. Please find the courage to speak to friends, family and whoever else about how you are feeling. If you know somebody who is struggling, regularly check in on them and offer support. Do they need to speak to a trained professional? Perhaps they need to try CBD oil to try and alleviate the symptoms of depression? Please be aware of those around you.

Warning – The photo below may be particularly upsetting for some readers.

We weren’t able to get very close. From a distance it appeared to be a male, perhaps in his 20s, wearing dark shorts, sandals, and no shirt. However, in looking at our best photo, it does look like he was wearing a shirt with a color somewhat close to skin tone.