Driver was huffing chemical before fatal crash that killed family of 4, cops say

By Mario Tacher on Jul 25 in Personal Injury Lawsuits.

A 21-year-old man allegedly huffed a chemical and was driving up to 107 mph before he crashed into a minivan in Delray Beach, killing a family of four visiting South Florida, according to a police report released Wednesday.

Paul Wilson Streater faces a total of 11 charges, including four counts each of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter, records show.

Streater was driving a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado, in which investigators found a Wal-Mart receipt showing the purchase of two cans of Dust-Off on the afternoon of the crash, police said.

Store video shows Streater and his passenger buying the cans and other items about 3:30 p.m. April 28, just hours before the crash. Dust-Off is a brand name of canned air often inhaled by people to produce mind-altering effects. Abusing the substance is known as huffing.

The crash happened when Streater allegedly drove at more than 100 mph, swerved around traffic on South Federal Highway and crushed a minivan waiting to make a left turn, according to police.

The family of four, in town for a family reunion, were only a few blocks from the vacation home they had rented when their minivan was smashed on impact, police said. An engineering firm hired by police determined that Streater’s Silverado was traveling between 102 mph to 107 mph when it struck the minivan.

Streater had played golf and was driving with his roommate to their apartment, said his attorney, Sam Halpern of Fort Lauderdale.

Streater claimed that his pickup suddenly lurched into high speed.

Killed were Veronica Mariel Raschiotto 42, of Mexico; her children, Diego Martinez Raschiotto, 8, and Mia Martinez Raschiotto, 6; and Raschiotto’s brother, Jorge Claudio, 50, of Argentina.

Toxicology tests on Streater’s blood later showed the presence of Difluoroethane, the main ingredient in Dust-Off.

Streater was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Tuesday night. At his first court appearance Wednesday, he was ordered held on a $400,000 bond.