Kathleen J. Boos of Palm Coast and Carl W. Boos Are Killed in A1A Crash, One Critical
FlaglerLive | March 11, 2016
Last Updated: Saturday, 7:38 a.m.
Two people were killed, one was injured critically and one was injured seriously as a result of a head-on crash on State Road A1A at 6:25 p.m. A third person was treated for minor injuries at the scene, and released.
The victims killed in the crash were Kathleen J. Boos, a 66-year-old resident of Surf Drive in Palm Coast, and her brother-in-law, Carl Boos, 67, of Easton, Penn. Kathleen was at the wheel of a Ford Fusion. Carl had been visiting his brother, who was recovering from a recent surgery. (An FHP report on the crash, issued just after midnight, erroneously listed the brother’s name as the victim, rather than Carl’s. FHP corrected its error at 7:43 a.m. Saturday, after being informed of it by FlaglerLive, which had reported the correct name at 10:32 p.m. Friday.)
William G. Schwarz, 52, of Ormond Beach, was injured critically. Brittinia Dimattia, 21, of Albuquerque, N.M., was seriously injured (and subsequently listed as critical in an FHP report). Four other people involved in the wreck were not injured.
The wreck took place around 3434 North Ocean Shore Boulevard, just north of Painters Hill. That area of A1A closed in both directions and was expected to remain closed well into the night as several units of the Florida Highway Patrol conducted their homicide investigation.
The crash, which involved four vehicles, was reportedly caused by the driver of one of the vehicles, a Mercury Sable, attempting to pass another, triggering the head-on collision with the Fusion. But investigators were still piecing together exactly how the wreck unfolded, as there were no immediate witnesses–only distant witnesses who saw the Fusion spinning and heard the explosion of the the impact. A doctor who helped at the scene in the immediate aftermath told investigators that she smelled alcohol on the breath of the driver of the Mercury.
By Saturday morning, investigators had concluded–according to an FHP report–that Kathleen Boos was driving north in her Fusion, while Schwarz was driving the Mercury south. Schwarz attempted to pass an Infinity that was also driving south. Schwarz struck the Fusion head-on, pushing the Fusion into the path of the Infinity, causing yet another head-on collision between the Infinity and the Fusion. The Infinity itself rotated counterclockwise into the path of a Buick.
The Fusion was the most heavily damaged, ending up facing south in the middle of A1A. Flagler Beach Fire Department crews worked until 8:30 p.m. to remove the bodies of the victims from the Fusion. (The rescue scene was under Lt. Steve Cox’s command, the crash scene under FHP’s command.) Medical Examiner personnel drove the bodies away at 9 p.m., for autopsies in St. Augustine.
The Mercury’s front was beyond recognition. The vehicle ended up on the east shoulder facing north, about 20 to 30 yards north of the Fusion. A little south of the Fusion, the Buick Lacrosse and the Infinity were welded together, facing north, on the east shoulder of A1A, the front right of the Buick having smashed into the left rear of the Infinity. The Infinity–which had New Mexico license plates–also sustained severe front-left damage. Dimattia, the driver of the Infinity, was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler.
Francis John Riva Jr., 56, was driving the Buick Lacrosse, with three passengers: Kathleen Riva, 56, Stefani Milstrev, 26, and Christian Riva, 17, all from Valrico, Fla. None was injured.
“It sounded like they didn’t have time to brake. No screeching, just a crash,” said Tim Thomas, resident of a house adjacent to the scene of the crash. He described the sound of the collision as an explosion. A retired Episcopal priest, Thomas said he went down to the scene “to see if I could help in any way” immediately after the crash.
The young woman, he said, “was comforted very heroically by somebody in the neighborhood.” Her father arrived just in time to board the Flagler County Rescue unit that took her to FHF.
Schwarz was flown to Halifax by Flagler County Fire Flight. The two individuals killed in the wreck were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Florida Highway Patrol will release the remaining identities of the victims later. Several units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and COP officers were also at the scene.
The crash resulted in the second and third fatalities in three days on Flagler County roads. On Thursday, Paul Aiello, a 52-year-old local business owner, was killed a few miles north of tonight’s crash scene, in a single-motorcycle crash near the Hammock Beach Resort.