West Palm Beach man one of two dead in I-95 crash into Broward pond


William Travieso was a big-hearted man from Cuba who got into trouble but cleaned up his life and loved his family and his girlfriend, his siblings said Friday.

Travieso, 46,, from West Palm Beach, is one of two people who died Thanksgiving Day when their car went into a retention pond just south of Boca Raton, authorities said.

The two were in a 2006 Honda Accord that was northbound on Interstate 95 in Deerfield Beach about noon Thursday when the driver lost control near Hillsboro Boulevard, the last exit in Broward County, and went into the pond, the Florida Highway Patrol said in a release.

READ: One in custody, three hurt when car crashes into Palm Beach Gardens canal

Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky said Friday that witnesses reported the car was driving erratically and lost control as it tried to change lanes. Travieso and the other passenger, a 39-year-old from the Miami area, were taken to Broward Health North, in nearby Pompano Beach, where they were declared dead, the report said.

Wysocky said authorities haven’t determined which of the two was driving.

He said the crash blocked two lanes and caused a big holiday backup on the expressway, which was aggravated when a heavy rain fell after the crash.

The report said it was unknown if any of the two wore safety belts. It said alcohol was not a factor with either.

His sister, Caridad Travieso, who also lives in West Palm Beach, told The Palm Beach Post on Friday that Travieso had lived for several years at his father’s home in the 3200 block of Parker Avenue, but recently had been living with a girlfriend in Broward County.

She said William, who has been working for a construction firm doing home remodeling, was on his way to West Palm Beach to pick up a paycheck. She said he believed the other person in the car was the driver, and was a man who lived with Travieso and his girlfriend.

Caridad said William, who came from Cuba several years ago, is survived by his mother in Cuba and his father in West Palm Beach. She said he had no children. Funeral arrangements were incomplete Friday. The family was trying to raise money for burial.

Caridad also said William “learned from his mistake” after he spent two years in state prison a decade ago and “told us he never wanted to go back to prison again.”

William Travieso was arrested in May 2006 in Port St. Lucie and charged with being part of what police there called the largest marijuana-growing ring in the city’s history. Police alleged at the time that people were using at least 24 single-family houses to grow hundreds of marijuana plants, either planting them in 5-gallon buckets or dangling them midair amid high-tech lights and irrigation pipes. Florida corrections records show William was convicted in August 2007 and sentenced to a 2½-year term, and was released in September 2009.

Caridad said she loved William and the two would speak every day. She said William had been with his girlfriend for a decade and “adored his mother, sister and girlfriend.”

Brother Alisley Travieso said that a few years ago he found himself out of work and living in his car for about seven weeks, and “the only person who offered me his 1-bedroom efficiency to shower and brush my teeth was William.”



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