NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWellington

Actions

Ambulance driver helps troopers catch suspect in deadly road rage crash

Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 18:23:56-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — For more than a year, an ambulance driver from Wellington has been pushing for the arrest of what he calls a road rage driver in a deadly crash.

A crash happened back in April 2021 along Florida's Turnpike near the Palm Beach and Broward County line.

Prosecutors charged Gregory Lowe of Greenacres with vehicular homicide in a road rage incident.

The Florida Highway Patrol report spells out how ambulance driver Alex Castro was key to the arrest after he called 911.

"I saw an object also airborne. For one split second, I was saying, I was hoping that was a tire," Castro said.

But it wasn’t. Castro later learned it was a 17-year-old passenger ejected from the car.

The crash occurred at the southbound lanes close to the Palm Beach and Broward County line.

Castro was driving the empty ambulance to Key West. It had no medicine, bandages, or anything useful to help crash victims, so he turned on his lights and sirens

"And the first thing out of his mouth was, I hope I’m here checking if he’s OK," Castro said.

Moments later, state troopers arrived and questioned the alleged road rage driver.

But Castro felt sick. He learned the teen ejected from the car had died. Castro's own sister Sarah was killed in 1993 in a crash in Miami. She was 23.

"I keep thinking about the things I thought of when my sister died. What we were talking about the day before. Her and O joking on the phone and what we were going to do that weekend. And all I'm thinking about is this kid and his father," Castro said.

That person was Daquan Smith Jr. His father, Daquon Smith Sr., was driving the car.

"This father is not going to be able to say goodbye. His son is not in a hospital, where he can go up and visit him," Castro said.

Castro wanted Daquon Smith Sr. to know what he saw from his ambulance. Castro visited the Smith family's home near Orlando in July 2021.

"Oh man, I miss my boy. I miss doing things with my son," Smith said.

Castro told the Smith family what he saw in the moments leading up to the deadly crash.

"The other vehicle was attacking him. And I called 911 to report it. That’s how bad it was," Castro said.

"I’m grateful for him. Really grateful," Smith said.

Before leaving, Castro promised the Smiths he’d do everything in his power to convince police to arrest who he believed was a road rage driver

In the past year, Castro said he has met with highway patrol investigators and an assistant Palm Beach County state attorney.

One year, four months, and 16 days after the deadly crash, prosecutors charged Lowe of Greenacres.

In the arrest report, investigators called it "a road rage incident that led to a traffic crash."

"In my frame of mind, I just witnessed a homicide. And I'm not letting this guy get away," Castro said.

Lowe pleaded not guilty to the vehicular homicide charge late last month.

Castro believes if he didn’t use the ambulance to follow the suspect, there might never have been justice for the Smith family.