- Mike Stucka Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
A Wellington man walking his dogs just after midnight was killed Saturday when a rear-ended car was flung into him.
John J. Stermer, 74, died at the scene of the 12:10 a.m. Saturday crash, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. Stermer was walking the dogs on the sidewalk of Big Blue Trace not far from Wellington Elementary School just before the crash occurred, the Sheriff’s Office reported in a statement.
The agency said Jason K. Carter, 46, of Wellington was driving a 2014 Ford Mustang going south on Big Blue Trace “at a high rate of speed” and “failed to reduce his speed or take evasive action to avoid a collision” with a 2015 Jeep Wrangler driven by Miguel A. Portillo, 48, of Los Angeles.
Alcohol or drugs appeared to be a factor in Carter’s driving, the sheriff’s office report said.
The report said the front of the Mustang “violently impacted” the back of the Jeep, causing both vehicles to rotate and go off the road. The Mustang came to rest on the shoulder. The Jeep kept going over the shoulder and onto the sidewalk where it hit Stermer and his dogs. Stermer and his two dogs were flung into the air and Stermer was pronounced dead by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue personnel, the sheriff’s report said.
Both dogs also were killed, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Saturday night.
Portillo was in serious condition at an area hospital, Barbera said. Carter received minor injuries. Both men were wearing seat belts, the sheriff’s report said.