NEW: Fatal hit-and-run victim came to West Palm to work at Apple store


A Tennessee man who was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run crash in Sunday night owned a business that installed high-end audio-video systems and was on a “working vacation” in Palm Beach County to help set up an Apple Store, a family member said Tuesday.

West Palm Beach police said Paul McKee was struck and killed by an SUV as he and his wife walked in the area of Hibiscus Street and Quadrille Boulevard, just east of CityPlace. McKee’s wife, whose name police have not disclosed, suffered serious injuries and is still recovering at a hospital, police said.

Linn Guerrero-Justice, McKee’s niece, said by telephone Tuesday from Knoxville, Tenn., that her uncle was “family-oriented” and someone who always was willing to lend a hand.

“I was just married a few weeks ago. He came three hours early just to see if we needed any help,” Guerrero-Justice said.

McKee ran a business known as Audio Video By Design. According to its website, it “offers custom home-theater installations, lighting control, audio configurations” and repairs existing equipment.

The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce said it recently hired McKee’s company to install equipment in its office spaces. “He operated his business with integrity and provided exemplary customer service,” the chamber said in a prepared statement.

Guerrero-Justice did not know which of the three Apple Stores in Palm Beach County — in Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton and Wellington — had hired McKee.

The McKees were visiting Palm Beach County with their 12-year-old son, who was not injured and is in the care of family members, police said. They also have a daughter in her 20s, who is expecting the couple’s first grandchild.

Investigators Tuesday continued their search for the light-colored Mazda Tribute SUV they say was involved in the crash. The vehicle should have extensive damage to its windshield, as well to the left-front fog lamp lens, police said. Pieces of a front-bumper support and the fog-lamp assembly were found in the road near the crash site.

Police say they are looking for a middle-aged woman who was driving the vehicle, which likely was built between 2008 and 2011. West Palm Beach Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Lefont said Tuesday there was no new information to report regarding the investigation.

Anyone with information about Sunday’s crash is asked to call West Palm Beach police at 561-822-1900.

Hit-and-run crashes like the one Sunday night are common in Palm Beach County. In 2016, the county had the third-highest total in Florida in 2016 with 7,694, or about 21 per day, most of them vehicle-on-vehicle, according to state statistics.

Vehicles hitting pedestrians also are common. In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 604 such crashes, 35 of them resulting in deaths, state statistics show.

West Palm Beach has made a priority of being a “walkable” city, both to keep pedestrians safe and improve its quality of life, and especially in areas near CityPlace, a district of stores and restaurants. It has studied ways to reduce car congestion on streets such as Okeechobee Boulevard, just south of the crash site.



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