BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The West Palm Beach police officer who died in a crash involving his cruiser on Friday in Boynton Beach has been identified by his family as Fernando DeSouza.
He is the second uncle of WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.
DeSouza, 43, served in the Army for seven years, including doing tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He was with the West Palm Beach Police Department for almost 17 years, according to the family.
DeSouza leaves behind three children, six siblings and his parents.
Boynton Beach Police Department officers were called to the intersection of Hypoluxo Road and Lawrence Road just after 2:30 a.m.
Investigators said a marked West Palm Beach police vehicle had crashed and caught fire, killing the driver.
Aerial video from WPTV Chopper 5 showed a tow truck taking the charred wreckage of the police vehicle away from the scene, as well as a large utility pole on the ground in the intersection.
"During this profoundly difficult time, our thoughts, prayers, and sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim, as well as the West Palm Beach Police Department," the Boynton Beach Police Department said in a news release.
The West Palm Beach Police Department was awaiting positive identification of the driver, which spokesman Mike Jachles said could take several days.