A 35-year-old man from Boca Raton is facing two charges of driving under the influence manslaughter and one charge of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury after a fatal car accident.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Jamie Josue Gomez Escobedo ran a red light on Feb. 1 while driving southbound in his 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee on U.S. Highway 441 approaching Kimberly Road. At the same time, an 82-year-old man driving a 2021 Nissan Rogue was preparing to cross the intersection under a green light.
The Jeep collided with the Nissan, causing it to roll over and come to a stop upside down on the southwest corner of the intersection. The Jeep then rotated clockwise before coming to a stop within the southbound lanes of the intersection.
Fatalities and injuries
The Nissan’s driver and one of his passengers, a 79-year-old woman, were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Both were from North Woodmere, N.Y., an unincorporated area of Long Island. A second passenger, a Boca Raton woman, was transported to Delray Medical Center by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue with life-threatening injuries.
Toxicology tests indicate that Escobedo had a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.3, well above the legal limit of .08 in which it is illegal to drive in Florida. A 0.3 blood-alcohol reading is at the minimal level of likely alcohol poisoning.
During a court hearing on Wednesday at the Palm Beach County Jail, Circuit Judge Kirk Volker ordered that Escobedo be held in lieu of $200,000 bail. He also ordered Escobedo to be placed on in-house arrest with an ankle monitor upon his release, that he refrain from driving, and that he have no contact with the victim’s family, among other conditions.
Public defender’s office
As of Wednesday afternoon, Escobedo remained in custody at the county jail. He was represented by the Palm Beach County Public Defender’s Office, which does not comment on active cases as a matter of policy.