Four killed in vehicle crashes Labor Day weekend in Palm Beach County

Wrecks claim lives of couple, mother and teenager
Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 05:48:37-04

The number of deadly car crashes this holiday weekend continues to climb.

Authorities confirmed four people died in Palm Beach County since Friday.

A memorial is taking shape for two people killed in Royal Palm Beach Sunday morning. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office announced Jeffrey DiNatale, 31, and Andrea Espinola, 25, died when their Infinity sedan crashed into a palm tree. Someone placed a rosary and flower at the crash site to remember the couple.

“We definitely see an increase in traffic this afternoon as people start heading home,” said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky.

He took NewsChannel 5 on a ride along Monday morning. He said holiday weekends can be busy for all the wrong reasons.

The DiNatale family learned that. Investigators believe Jeffrey was driving over the speed limit westbound on Okeechobee Blvd when he lost control and hit a tree west of Wildcat Way.

“Jeffrey and Andrea were a remarkable young couple whose vibrant young lives will continue to bring us joyous memories,” Jeffrey’s family wrote in a statement.

Wysocky said a lot of crashes can be prevented. For example, Friday two men suspected of driving drunk crashed into troopers on I-95 in Palm Beach County.   

“Your designated driver is the driver that drinks nothing, not the driver that drinks the least,” said Wysocky, adding you have the option to call a friend, taxi, or Uber when you’re drunk.

Over the weekend, mother Sheila William died from injuries suffered during a crash Friday morning. According the highway patrol, William crashed into a semi truck parked on the exit ramp of I-95 at Boynton Beach Blvd. Troopers continue to investigate what led to the crash.

These stories makes drivers like Rudy March grateful he made it back from his holiday trip safely.

“You have to look out for yourself and everybody else,” he said. “You just have to realize what's going on on the highway.”

The deadly crashes continued Labor Day morning. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said 18-year-old Palmer Lanou died after crashing his motorcycle in Jupiter Farms.

According to a crash report, Lanou was not wearing a helmet and may have been impaired.

Here is a full statement from the DiNatale family:

“Our family is understandably devastated at the tragic loss of our son and brother Jeffrey DiNatale. To know Jeffrey was to have an appreciation for his talents, warmth and generosity of spirit. He and Andrea were a remarkable young couple whose vibrant young lives will continue to bring us joyous memories. This is a very difficult time for our family and we pray that Jeff and Andrea's story is a reminder of how fragile life can be.”

This is drowsy driving awareness week in Florida. Below are tips from highway patrol on how to stay safe behind the wheel when you feel tired.

-Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
-Read the warning information on all medications you take. If it will make you drowsy, do not drive a vehicle.
-On long trips, take a break every two hours.
-If you start feeling tired while driving, pull over in a safe place and take a nap if you can.
-Use the “buddy system” and switch drivers when needed.
-Drink caffeine. Two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.