Man dead after driver runs red light at Haverhill, investigators say


A 26-year-old West Palm Beach man died when the truck he was in ran a red light just before 1 a.m. Sunday, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Initial reports from investigators indicate the truck’s driver is believed to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

Merlin Arial Diaz Martinez was one of two passengers in the truck driven by Felix Erlin Pozo Leyva, 42, of West Palm Beach. The truck they were in was headed west on Purdy Lane at 12:46 a.m., when authorities say Leyva failed to heed a red light and drove into the intersection at Haverhill Road in suburban West Palm Beach.

The truck then collided with a southbound car driven by Steve D’Haiti, 42, of North Lauderdale, the crash report said. The vehicles hit front end to front end and then hit each other again before coming to a stop.

The car’s driver, D’Haiti, and his two passengers, one of whom was a 4-year-old boy, suffered only minor injuries.

Martinez, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Another passenger, a 23-year-old from Orlando, had minor injuries. Leyva, the truck’s driver and the only one in truck wearing a seat belt, according to the preliminary report, also had minor injuries. Charges in the crash are pending.

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