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.
By our count, Mazariegos has had 9 traffic cases (7 of them criminal) in Broward County dating back to 2007: 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.
This afternoon we were alerted to an accident on 441 south of Kimberly Blvd, with indications that a car had hit a pole and the pole was on the roof of the car. We were able to get to the scene for photos and video. At top is a wide angle view of the scene looking toward the south at northbound traffic. The car apparently hit one of the light poles on the northbound side of the road, well off the roadway. Below is a somewhat closer look at the area. The Palm Beach Sheriff and FPL were both on scene. Fire Rescue had already left. There was substantial damage to the car, including both the front end and the roof. The pole was dislodged from its base and you can see it laying on the ground below. Our video from the scene is below. We did not hear any report of injuries one way or another.
Late last night we learned there had been a serious accident at the intersection of 441 and New England, which is between Glades and Yamato at the north end of Boca Greens plaza.
The initial report we had just before 11:30 pm was:
New England Blvd & State Road 7 — PBCFR station 54 on-scene of a motorcyclist hit by a van that fled the scene, advising Priority-1 Trauma Alert to Delray Medical Center by ground, suspect vehicle is a silver van Hispanic male driver — Tac 4A
Shortly thereafter we had an update:
State Road 7 will be shut down, both directions, from Yamato Rd to Kimberly Blvd for a couple hours at least, for an active Traffic Homicide Investigation
This morning we received an update from the Sheriff. Their report did not mention the van or anything else about a hit and run.
V-1 was westbound on New England Boulevard, approaching US Highway 441 in the right turn lane. V-1 made a heavy braking application before reaching the intersection, which resulted in the vehicle overturning onto its right side. The motorcycle slid through the intersection on its side and came to rest on the west side of US 441, within the westbound lanes of Boca Green (Entrance to a gas station). The operator of the motorcycle was not wearing a helmet and was ejected from the motorcycle. He was transported to Delray Medical Center for treatment.
New England is the north side of Boca Greens plaza, and it is where the gas station is located. They did identify the motorcycle driver as James Andrew Bishop, age 20, a resident of The Colony in Delray Beach. He is an Olympic Heights graduate.
Friends of Mr. Bishop gave us an update on his injuries:
He’s in the Trauma ICU at the Delray Medical Center in critical condition. Skull fractures and a few other head injuries.
Note that the PBSO report indicated Mr. Bishop was in serious condition, rather than critical. There are a couple of discrepancies in the story that we can’t resolve at this point. We checked with our contact at PBSO who had also initially heard about a van leaving the scene and did not know why it’s not in the report. The way the report is written suggests that there was no van involved. We’re not sure why but we see a lot of accidents in this area. Last May there was another motorcycle accident there. And there was a fatal accident very close to this in the southbound lanes in August. Just north of this at Yamato there was a rollover accident in November.
Update (May 7, 2015): PBSO has identified the body as: Vilelio Gerson Vasquez-Portillo, 22, of Miami Gardens.
This morning we were notified of another dead body found in our area. This body was found on the far west end of Old Everglades-Pump Road (aka Kimberly), near the southwest corner of the Saturnia neighborhood (but separated by the canal). This is west of Eagles Landing Middle School, north of Osprey Point Golf Course, and on the eastern edge of the Loxahatchee Refuge and the Everglades.
PBSO has released this initial statement:
Shortly after 8:00 am, a fisherman boating near the 19000 block of 120 Ave South, Boca Raton, saw a male lying near the embankment, while concerned for his well-being, he immediately called 911 to alert deputies and fire rescue personnel. When deputies and fire rescue arrived they located the male deceased. Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division as well as Crime Scene Investigators are in route to the scene to investigate further. No suspect information or motive known at this time.
When we arrived there were several police vehicles already present, as you can see in the photo at top. We could not get close but our best guess is that the body was found in the area marked off by crime scene tape. While we were on scene, the “Crime Scene” van arrived and went to that area. There is a canal on the north side of Old Everglades-Pump Road and it’s possible there was some evidence on the bank of the canal. We saw people looking over in that area a few times. Police vehicles were gathered near the intersection with 120th Avenue South. Two TV crews showed up, from WPBF and WPTV. The initial report was that the body was an Hispanic adult male. We will update when we get more information. We heard from at least one area resident concerned that West Boca and West Delray are becoming dumping grounds for dead bodies. We think that’s a bit of an overreaction. The other very recent incident was a body found near Delray Marketplace. An arrest was made in that case. The victim and alleged murderer are from Broward and/or Miami, but the murder allegedly occurred near West Boca Medical Center. Last year a West Boca woman was found dead in West Sandalfoot in her luxury SUV, a case that remains unsolved. Also in 2014 a body was found in Logger’s Run, which was determined to be a suicide. Our early video from the scene is here:
Dead body found west end of Old Everglades Pump Road, near Saturnia.
Note that we were kept far, far back from the scene. We estimate it was a quarter-mile. PBSO would not let us closer, even on foot, first claiming that the dirt road might be disturbed (despite numerous PBSO vehicles driving over it), and then that there was evidence in the grassy areas.
A reader reports to us this morning that there’s a new gas station in West Boca that’s offering better prices:
Just FYI the gas station at Kimberly and Hampton is 2.59. It’s a hidden secret. The new sign wasn’t working I will get a better photo later. It’s also Marathon now. 20 cents cheaper then Chevron.
We have had a tool on our website, through MapQuest, that shows gas prices in West Boca. And there is also an app called Gas Buddy that shows gas prices to users on mobile devices. We checked out what we could find both on our page and through Gas Buddy, which seems to be more popular and updated more frequently by users. From what we could see the “new” gas station is not a particularly good deal. Gas Buddy shows that station’s price as higher than what our reader reported, and the nearby Chevron as less expensive. But of course those apps can be inaccurate. If you want to save even more money on your fuel then check out this Murphy USA survey that could let you win free gas if you win. That’ll help you a lot if the gas prices continue to rise. We’ve always felt that the Cumberland Farms at Sandalfoot and 441 has the best prices in West Boca, and it looks like that’s still true. We hear complaints all the time about bums or troublemakers hanging around that gas station but we’ve never noticed any issues.