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Distracted Lyft driver hits, kills utility worker near West Palm Beach, sheriff's office says

2 passengers inside Lyft driver's vehicle at time of crash, according to PBSO spokeswoman
A fatal crash in the 3000 block of Southern Boulevard near West Palm Beach on August 2, 2022.jpg
Posted at 1:07 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 17:46:50-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A distracted Lyft driver with two passengers inside his vehicle hit and killed a utility worker Tuesday near West Palm Beach, authorities confirm to WPTV.

According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office crash report, a 55-year-old Lake Worth Beach man was driving a 2020 Chevy Malibu in the 3000 block of Southern Boulevard around 4 p.m. Tuesday when he became distracted, drifted to the left, and struck Julio Angel Flores Figueroa, 55, of West Palm Beach.

The sheriff's office said Figueroa, who was marking utilities in the center median at the time of the crash, hit the Malibu's windshield and tumbled to the pavement.

PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera confirmed to WPTV on Wednesday the driver who hit Figueroa works for Lyft and had two passengers inside his car. It's unclear why he became distracted.

Figueroa was pronounced dead at the scene, while the Lyft driver suffered minor injuries.

Lyft released the following statement to WPTV on Wednesday about the deadly crash:

"We are heartbroken by this incident. Our hearts are with the victim's loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. We have removed the driver from the Lyft platform and stand ready to assist law enforcement however we can."

At this time, the driver has not been arrested.

"They are very vulnerable. They’re just workers doing their job," said Irv Slosberg, a former member of the Florida House of Representatives who lost his daughter in a 1996 traffic crash.

Slosberg knows this tragedy all too well.

"There’s just so many distracted drivers. It’s an epidemic with the distracted driving," Slosberg said.

Distracted driving resulted in more than 3,000 crashes already this year. Six people died as a result and 62 others were seriously injured, according to state traffic data compiled by the University of Florida.