Romial Romeus was cited for careless driving in a Deerfield Beach, Florida collision that resulted in the deaths of Nadege Theodore, Lyne Theodore, Guivens Daverman, and Standalie Jean-Baptiste, news sources report. Three vehicles were involved in the collision, which sent the family’s SUV into a lake. Nadege Theodore, 37, Lyne Theodore, 15, Daverman, 16, and Baptiste, 20, all sustained fatal injuries in the crash. Romeus, 37, escaped uninjured. Information regarding the third driver’s identity was not immediately available following the crash; it is unclear whether that driver was injured. It is similarly unclear whether the family of the deceased has hired a lawyer.
According to reports, the accident occurred around 10 p.m. on January 2 in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Deerfield Beach. Nadege Theodore was behind the wheel of a Lexus SUV with her daughter, Lyne Theodore, her nephew, Daverman, and an unspecified relative, Baptiste, as passengers. The group was on their way home from the Boca Raton mall.
Romeus was also traveling along the southbound lanes of I-95 in his 2003 Nissan Altima. At some point, his vehicle reportedly sideswiped a Hyundai Sonata, which in turn collided with Theodore’s SUV. Theodore lost control of her vehicle and her SUV left the road, smashed through a fence, and plunged into a lake.
Rescue crews and divers searched the lake and recovered Nadege Theodore, Baptiste, and Daverman. Paramedics were able to resuscitate Baptiste at the scene, but he never fully recovered and died four days later. Paramedics pronounced Nadege Theodore and Daverman dead at the scene. Rescue workers were not aware that Lyne Theodore was in the SUV at the time of the accident until they began contacting relatives. Divers returned to the scene the following day and recovered her body.
Members of the family’s community mourned their loss following the tragic crash. According to reports, the family had recently moved to the United States from Haiti to start a new life. Lyne Theodore and Daverman both attended school at Blanche Ely High School and had plans of seeking careers in the medical field. Baptiste had been taking classes at Broward College and aspired to become an anesthesiologist. Nadege Theodore had been taking nursing classes at ITT Tech and worked as a home health aide with Matrix Home Care.
The Florida Highway Patrol began investigating and made the decision to cite Romeus, although a spokesperson did say that Romeus is not believed to have been under the influence at the time of the crash. “It appears to be an accident,” an FHP spokesperson said. “There were no drugs, no alcohol, nothing to substantiate a criminal charge.” It is not clear whether any of the surviving relatives will pursue further legal action.
In a recent study conducted by a news site, Florida’s Interstate 95 is the number one deadliest Interstate in the United States. To determine that ranking, the news site examined five years of crash statistics from nearly 250 different U.S. interstates using data provided by the National Safety Administration. I-95 in Florida showed to have the most fatal accidents across those five years. In second place was I-76 in New Jersey, followed closely by Florida’s Interstate 4.