(As originally published with bells and whistles, Wed, October 26th 2022, 11:24 AM EDT)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The man responsible for the crash that killed four people in Delray Beach, more than four years ago, has now been convicted of four counts of vehicular homicide.
Each is a second-degree felony.
In April 2018, witnesses told police they saw 21-year-old Paul Streater speeding in a grey Chevy Silverado pickup truck southbound on S. Federal Highway near Lamat Avenue.
Police said he told them he swerved to avoid hitting traffic in front of him, and instead rear-ended a white Dodge Caravan minivan waiting to make a left turn on that Saturday night.
The harsh impact caused it to cross into northbound traffic and hit a Buick Encore. All four people in the white minivan were pronounced dead at the scene.
The victims had been returning from a day in Deerfield Beach.
They were 50-year-old Jorge Claudio of Argentina and his sister, 42-year-old Veronica Mariel Raschiotto of Mexico; plus, her two children, Diego Martinez Raschiotto, 8, and 6-year-old Mia Martinez Raschiotto.
Streater’s friend, who was his passenger, had said the pedal in the pickup somehow got stuck, which caused it to speed up, to the point Streater couldn’t slow it down.
Also, his lawyer had said something caused the pickup to accelerate unintentionally.
And, police even asked witnesses to come forward to help figure out what happened. Some said the crash sounded like an explosion.
Streater was arrested three months after the tragedy when investigators determined he was driving at more than 100 mph.
Also, toxicology tests on his blood showed the presence of Difluoroethane, the main ingredient in Dust-off, a brand of canned air commonly used to remove dust from electronics equipment. It’s commonly abused by people who inhale it to produce mind-altering effects, also known as huffing. Streater was seen on Walmart video buying the cans, a few hours before the deadly crash.
Surveillance video from a nearby car dealership captured what police called a “catastrophic crash” and Streater was eventually released from jail in lieu of $400,000 bond with a host of restrictions including house arrest and random drug testing.
Tuesday, Streater was acquitted of four counts of DUI manslaughter and three counts of DUI causing damage to property or a person.
His bond was returned, and he was taken into custody.
Streater’s sentencing is set for Dec. 20. State Attorney Dave Aronberg said he now faces a minimum punishment of 37 years in prison, and a maximum possible penalty of a life sentence, according to state sentencing guidelines.