Driver Hospitalized in Fatal Lantana Crash

By Al Pefley  email

Lantana, FL (WFLX)

A Boynton Beach man is hospitalized, after police say he sped away from police on I-95 and caused a deadly crash on Lantana road yesterday that killed a pedestrian.

Tonight, we have  the police radio transmissions from that incident and we hear from a woman who survived the accident when the runaway driver hit her S-U-V.

The crash happened at the corner of Lantana Road and 13th Street about 4pm Thursday.

Police say they did not chase the man down I-95, but when he got off 95 and sped down  Lantana Road going east, he was in a big hurry and it was clear that he had no intention of stopping.

"It's a silver Mazda northbound. That's a Texas tag. Go ahead and run that tag. He's taking off on me. He just signaled-four (crashed) even though I'm not in pursuit in Lantana and he's running," a Boynton Beach police officer told the dispatcher.

That was the police radio call that preceded the  crash on Lantana Road Thursday, when police say the driver of a silver Mazda, Ronald Wright , 25,  of Boynton Beach, slammed into a pedestrian crossing the street and hit three cars.

Wright jumped out of the car and ran off,  but was later caught by police.

"I saw the pedestrian trying to cross, crossing the street. And then I saw the pedestrian flying up in the air and I saw the silver Mazda hitting the white jeep in front of me, flying towards me and I'm screaming oh my God, oh my God! It was, I could not believe this was happening! I couldn't believe it," said Francesca Romeo of suburban Lake Worth.

Romeo was driving a red SUV, sitting at the stop light at Lantana Road and 13th Street.  She had her two kids and another teen in the SUV, they were coming home after a day at the beach.

"I saw the pedestrian get hit, and flying up in the air," she recalled.

She says the silver Mazda glanced off her SUV, damaging the rear view mirror on the driver's side and causing some minor dents.

"I was like oh my God, oh my God. I was like this (puts hands over her face, peeking out between her fingers).   I was watching the silver car coming towards me. I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do. I couldn't go backwards, I couldn't go forwards. It was terrifying. It was literally terrifying!" Romeo said.   She and her passengers were not hurt.

Wright  is hospitalized in stable condition at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis.

He's charged with fleeing to elude police and may be charged in the death of the guy he hit who was crossing the street.

Authorities have not released the name of the pedestrian who was killed.

They say he's a 52 year old Delray Beach man.