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Ex-Flagler Tax Collector’s Son C. John Pellicer, 31, Killed in Midnight Wreck on CR2006

| September 20, 2013

The Ford truck after it had been hauled to John's Towing's yard overnight. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Ford truck after it had been hauled to John’s Towing’s yard overnight. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Claude John Pellicer III, 31, the son of former Flagler County Tax Collector Suzette Pellicer, was killed late Thursday night on County Road 2006 in Flagler, not far from his home when he lost control of the pick-up truck he was driving.

Claude Pellicer III

Claude Pellicer III

But Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies who originally responded to the scene did not at first notice that Pellicier was lying under the truck, in a waterlogged ditch. Nor did rescue personnel who happened by the scene before police, on their way back from a medical call, and stopped to investigate the wreck.

Nor did the victim’s father, who drove up to the scene at one point and identified the vehicle as his own.

Pellicer was traveling east on CR2006 and speeding, according to a Florida Highway Pattrol report, when for unknown reasons he lost control and the vehicle began rotating counterclockwise, flipping several times along the north shoulder before coming to a rest in a waterlogged ditch, ejecting Pellicer.

Originally, the wreck was reported to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office merely as a single-vehicle wreck with no victim found at the scene. That report was made to the sheriff’s office at 11:21 p.m., with a dispatcher noting that the vehicle appeared to have been in the ditch “for a while.” In fact, an ambulance had passed by on its way to a medical call on Ohio Avenue in the Mondex earlier and noticed the mud spatters on the road, according to sheriff’s dispatch records, “but nothing else.”

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Returning from that medical call, the unit passed by the same location to check further. That’s when they located the SUV in the ditch. “The rescue unit advised that they attempted to locate any possible passengers up and down the roadway utilizing their handheld [FLIR] but were unable to locate anything in the area,” a sheriff’s report on the incident indicates.

Dispatch reported that there was no one around the vehicle, and that the area was being checked out by a deputy.

When the Sheriff’s Office responded, it traced the truck to its owner–Pellicer’s father–and originally assumed that Pellicer’s son had walked away. The assumption was based on the fact that the younger Pellicer was on probation and did not want to be found out near or at the crash scene. (Pellicer was on probation until 2018 for a sex offense in Flagler County dating back to 2004.)

While the Med-rescue units were on scene, a sheriff’s report notes, Claude Pellicer Jr., father of Claude Pellicer III, drove up and, after identifying the car, said his son was using it to go see a girl only known as “Lisa” on Canham Street in Bunnell. The older Pellicer then went to his house to check on his son and see if he’d turned up there.

The sheriff’s office then called a wrecker to pick up the truck and deliver it back to its owner, Pellicer’s father.

Dispatch records show that sheriff’s deputies believed that Pellicer may have either fled or gone to Florida Hospital Flagler on his own. They called the hospital. “He has not been there,” deputies reported to dispatch at 4 minutes after midnight, “and if he does show up she will call” police.

Pellicer’s father meanwhile requested that John’s Towing be called on the scene to remove the vehicle and bring it to his property.

That’s when Trey Robinson, 36, of John’s Towing, showed up at the scene, around midnight. He described what happened 15 minutes later.

“I went to go and hook up the car,” Robinson said, “so I climbed over the bank onto the car, onto the opposite bank, then when I went to hook my chains I saw something in the water that wasn’t part of the vehicle. So I felt for it, and it was his feet. We got a body.”

That’s when the Sheriff’s Department started making a different set of calls–to the Florida Highway Patrol, which is required to conduct all traffic homicide investigations, and to the medical examiner, who must conduct a preliminary examination of the body where it is found at a wreck scene before it can be removed.

Dispatch notes show that the call for a medical unit was made at 58 minutes after midnight, and FHP notified at 1:08 a.m. At 1:18, Pellicier was pronounced dead.

Pellicer’s body was under the vehicle, which was on its side, having been clearly ejected. He had not been wearing a seat belt.

Trey Robinson. (© FlaglerLive)

Trey Robinson. (© FlaglerLive)

For Robinson, the discovery was not something he is unfamiliar with. “I was in the Marines, and I used to work for Halifax Medical Center in the emergency room,” he said. “I was in a unit that we dealt with a lot of stuff like this, so to see a dead body is part of the job. Plus working in the emergency room, see people come in with the GSWs”–meaning gunshot wounds–“some of them don’t make it, then working on the different floors, it’s part of the process.”

It was about 4:30 in the morning before authorities completed their work at the scene, and Robinson was able to tow the wreck. “Originally I was supposed to drop it in the owner’s yard, but after the discovery, plans changed,” he said.

Pellicer had a troubled life since he was a young boy. When he was 15, he became the focus of an investigation into the disappearance of Robert Picard, a 39-year-old man who was renting a trailer on the Pellicer property along CR2006, and who was reported missing on Sept. 30, 1997. After the disappearance Pellicer was charged with burglary and theft from Picard’s trailer, and days later Claude John Pellicer Jr., the boy’s father wo was 50 at the time, was charged with tampering with evidence and neglecting to help police. The case of Picard’s disappearance was never solved. In 2004, the younger Pellicer was convicted on a rape charge and has since been registered as a sex offender. He was reportedly wearing an electronic monitoring device.

Suzette Pellicer served as Flagler County Tax Collector for 16 years until 2005, when she chose not to run again, and was replaced by Suzanne Johnston, who’s still in office.

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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27 Responses for “Ex-Flagler Tax Collector’s Son C. John Pellicer, 31, Killed in Midnight Wreck on CR2006”

  1. Christina Pinto says:

    My prayers are with the family.

    • Suffered physical traumatic from his savage rape an viciuos brutal attack. says:

      You didn’t know him lioke I experienced it. He viciously raped and brutally attacked me while I had my disabled boy in my arms. As I was able to escape, he viciously dragged my son & I back into his house brutally as he said to finish killing us.

  2. Yeah, mine too. Regardless of the history… Rest in peace.

  3. Charles Gardner says:

    Sad for the parents. Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent.

  4. Local says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Sue.

  5. livesinpalmcoast says:


  6. angela m behlen says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this. I grew up with him, so sad I’m sorry RIP buddy

  7. familyfriend says:

    Prayers of healing and peace to Ms. Suzette and family. She has always stood by her sons side through trials and tribulations and is sucha good person. Despite Johnboys alleged “indiscretions”, he was a sweet guy with a big heart and posessed incredible talent in drawing. RIP John.

  8. Special friend says:

    My heart goes out to Suzette, Johnny and family. Boo John will always be remembered as such a caring sweet young man who was very talented. My heart hurts for this family…RIP Little John….you can’t be singled out no more, and God is fair and forgiving. We all here on earth are sinners….some just don’t get a fair shake.

  9. rickg says:

    Suzette, Robin and I are so sorry to hear this news. Please know that you are in our thoughts.

  10. Rhett Deen Cowart says:

    About ten years ago I got to know young John. We partied quite a bit… He had a compassionate heart. He had his demons, just as we all do. He was very easy going. I prayed for you Mrs. Sue and you JP. So sorry, may he rest in peace.

  11. Geezer says:

    A damned shame. My heartfelt sympathies to the Pellicers.

  12. Charles John Pellicer says:

    I want to start off by saying that I truly respect the journalism profession. I understand that there are stories to be told, and that it is your job to provide that service. With that said, it is an understatement to say that I am extremely disappointed with the angle that your journalists took in reporting the recent death of Claude John Pellicer, III. John was a young man who had his entire life ahead of him. While I appreciate and understand the necessity of detail in the timeline of events that your article provided, the story should have ended there. The traffic accident that resulted in his death is a tragic event that will forever affect my family. John was, and still is, my little brother. His past has absolutely nothing to do with the traffic accident. His sex offender status has absolutely nothing to do with the traffic accident. The fact that my stepmother, and his mother, is the former Tax Collector for Flagler County has absolutely nothing to do with the traffic accident. The cold case that police, despite the obvious lack of evidence, continue to try to tie to my brother has absolutely nothing to do with the traffic accident. The former charges against Claude John Pellicer, Jr., my father, have absolutely nothing to do with the traffic accident. These “skeletons” have no place in an article that should merely recount the tragic events of a fatal traffic accident. Instead of trying to “humanize” John by highlighting all of his indiscretions, your article should have focused on the positive things that John has done with his life to try to rectify those alleged indiscretions. If you wanted to write about John’s past and Suzette Pellicer’s tenure as Tax Collector, then also write about how John successfully performed work at the Tax Collector’s Office after being released from prison. Write about how he has not violated one of the toughest probation programs in existence. Write about how he was moving on with his life after paying severely for his past attitude. Write about the fact that he is survived by loving parents and siblings. He will be missed by his family and friends in a way that it is obvious you cannot understand. Your article has cast a shadow over John’s legacy which taints our memories of him. Although I am not the only person that was offended by this, under my advisement my brother’s parents have not read your article; nor do they have any intention of doing so. While I would appreciate a formal apology to my family, I am not naïve enough to expect one. I can only hope that future articles published by you focus on the positive aspects of a life that is cut short. I welcome any feedback that you may have, and I hope that you sincerely take my thoughts under consideration.

    Charles John Pellicer, brother of Claude John Pellicer, III, son of Claude John Pellicer, Jr., and stepson of Suzette Pellicer.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      I sympathize with the anguish and sorrow the family is suffering and will continue to suffer as a result of John’s accident. The story is written to reflect as accurately as possible the circumstances of the accident in its proper context. John’s past, his family and his record have little to do with the accident, but they are an inevitable part of that context: John was part of a family that was in the public eye locally for two decades, he was unfortunately connected to very serious issues, some of them still unresolved, and some of them having a direct connection to the way the events unfolded after the wreck: because of John’s probationary status, deputies reached conclusions at the scene about his possible whereabouts that initially made them believe he wasn’t there. That status had to be explained. It would not be responsible journalism to pass those details over in silence in a news story, as it would more appropriately be the case in an obituary or a memorial note. Nor do those facts diminish the narrative you eloquently presented about John’s more successful life subsequent to his indiscretions, some of which could have been part of the story. But again, in these stories, which no one takes pleasure in writing, sympathy and context cannot be mutually exclusive.–Pierre Tristam, editor

    • Martin Matthews says:

      Agree 100% media always trying to or having to bring up someone’s past!so wrong what was said after excuse me media family is grieving over a loss love one/really?How dare you /I agree with Mr.Pellicer an apology is owed to the family.Sorry for your families loss Mr.Pellicer little John is in our thoughts /Prayers.I am a lifelong resident of flagler County /to all of you at the media have to understand we don’t back down we stand beside one another/exspcially in a time like this so using your better judgement an apology is owed to the family!thank you Martin Matthews live long resident of Flagler county

    • K says:

      It’s wonderful that your brother tried to “rectify those alleged indescretions” and went on successfully participate in one of the “toughest probation programs in existence.”

      But I must wonder if the victim of your brother’s rape has recovered as well from her ordeal and whether the family of Mr. Picard has recovered from the still unsolved but clearly violent disappearance of their loved one.

      • Suffered physical traumatic from his savage rape an viciuos brutal attack. says:

        No. We’ll never recover, even after his death. It will haunt my disable child and I for the rest of our lives. I’ m just glad he will never harm another person again. We’re both still suffering that traumatic experience.

    • Vicki King Fontneau says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with his brother, Chuck.

      Aunt Vicki

  13. Suffered physical traumatic from his savage rape an viciuos brutal attack. says:

    Sorry JP Jr. You were always a good father, despite you had a freak for a son. You should have never kept covering his tracks. May your son now rest in peace. Now he can’t do any vicious damage to anybody else.

  14. Edee Damron says:

    ~R.I.P. Boo John~
    Regardless of someones past they deserve enough respect to leave this earth in peace. Maybe “people” should speak of others the way they would want someone to speak of them or their family members. I’m sure that everyone has skeletons in their closet and wouldn’t want them published as part of their passing. I don’t think it would have been difficult to post at least one positive remark about Boo John instead of all negative.
    ~R.I.P. Boo John~

  15. Edee Damron says:

    Thoughts & Prayers to the family and friends of Boo John :(

  16. Always regrets says:

    @ FlaglerLive

    I have to commend you on the “honesty” and “thoroughness “of your letter which everyone does deserve to know. Certainly there is a catch 22 with most stories and the loss of a family member is never easy and sadly in this case had past consequences.

    I feel FlaglerLive did write the proper article which reflected both feelings and thoughts with all invloved.

    Certainly my sincere condolenses goes out to the family & friends of Claude John..

  17. flaglerresident says:

    Let me say this, I don’t know this family or this person. To all of the family, I am terribly sorry to hear this happened, I hope that time gives you the ability to heal and grieve, and I hope you can come to terms with this tragedy in a peaceful way.

    It pretty obvious from the damage to the vehicle that this person was not going to walk away from this accident unharmed. This does not mean that he could not of been taken away by a friend or family member, as this is common in these types of single vehicle accidents with no witnesses. The biggest fear in these types of accidents is leaving someone on scene unaccounted for, even if they are deceased. Given the finality of the situation, it is highly unlikely if he crashed right in front of a trauma center and was rushed into surgery within 10 minutes that the outcome would have changed. This is sad for the family though.

  18. TRUTH says:

    Please, please, please……you long time Flagler folk. Please do not bash Flagler Live for reporting the facts of this incident and supporting facts leading up to the incident and notable incidents in the past. Each and every one of you, and I know you all personally have sat and engaged in these same type conversations sometimes about me AND sometimes with me. Flagler Live reported factual news and news from police reports from still open investigations. Trust me, I am not saying that Chuck, Suzette, Johnny, Jamey and Christy don’t need all of our thoughts, prayers, respect and sympathy but truly instead of bashing Flager Live maybe it should be duly noted that we are all just one step away from being on the receiving end of this gossip hotbed if we stay here very long-and I have. This news report is mild compared to what I have heard some of you say and honestly, have said myself. Shame on us all but not the newspaper, it’s thier job.

  19. Tax Payer says:

    I’m glad he did not hurt or kill anyone else during this crash. Does he even have a driver’s license and if not, who gave him the keys to the vehicle.

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