Antonio S. Lopez of Palm Beach County, Florida was killed in a wrong-way collision with Sanuse Cetoue on Saturday, news sources report. Lopez, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene. Cetoue was not injured. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident. Cetoue has not been criminally charged.
According to reports, the accident occurred around 3:00 Saturday morning on North Federal Highway in Boynton Beach. Federal Highway runs throughout several South Florida counties and has three lanes going either direction, separated in areas by concrete and grassy medians. Reports say Lopez was traveling northbound in his 2012 Taiz motor scooter in the left southbound lane of North Federal Highway when the crash occurred; the press did not specify why Lopez was going the wrong way.
Cetoue was traveling the proper direction in the let southbound lane in his 1997 Toyota 4-Runner. Cetoue failed to see Lopez in time and collided with his scooter, sources indicate. Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Cetoue remained at the scene and cooperated with police, reports say. So far, police have reportedly said Cetoue would not be charged with a crime. It is unclear whether negligence or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Wrong-way crashes, while rare, account for 360 deaths throughout the United States annually; they can be caused by anything from human error to alcohol consumption. This appears to be the second time, at least, that it has occurred in Palm Beach County this year. Last month, Shawn A. Harris was injured after Josh R. Gouette entered the opposing lanes of Okeechobee Boulevard and collided with him head-on, sources report. Harris 36, sustained minor injuries, while Gouette sustained critical injuries and was taken to an area hospital. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine what factors led to the wrong-way crash. So far, there have been no charges.
Reports say the accident happened around 10:45 p.m. on a Friday on Okeechobee Boulevard, east of the Florida Turnpike. While the details of the accident are still uncertain, reports say Gouette began driving down the opposing lanes of the boulevard in his 2002 Saturn. Harris, who was eastbound on the boulevard in his 2006 Acbura, collided head-on with Gouette.
Harris sustained only minor injuries in the crash and was transported to the West Palm Hospital. Gouette sustained more serious injuries and was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center. An update on their conditions was not provided in reports. Police are currently investigating to determine why Gouette was headed the wrong way. It was unclear at press time whether drugs, alcohol, or driver negligence led to the accident.
Palm Beach County is no stranger to traffic accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 13,410 recorded accidents in Palm Beach County in 2010. That number was up from the previous year, which played host to 13,398 reported traffic crashes. Of the 2010 accidents, 1,123 involved alcohol, the FLHSMV indicates.