More Road Rage: Fender Bender Turns Deadly in Florida


Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: August 19, 2008

I’m amazed at the lack of restraint that some drivers exhibit. The latest tale of Road Rage again arises in the great State of Florida. It just goes to show that driving and crack cocaine don’t mix. The Associated Press reports the following:

LAKE HAMILTON, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was arrested after allegedly going on a violent rampage after a minor fender-bender, slashing and stabbing the occupants of a car, then running over and killing a woman who had been riding in another nearby vehicle.

Casey Weldon Till, 26, of Haines City, faces murder and carjacking charges after the attacks involving family members traveling in two vehicles.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office tracked Till to his home through a pill bottle left at the scene late Sunday night. Police allege that he killed Odalis Cespedes, 41, by running her over twice. Till told police he was high on crack at the time.

The violence apparently unfolded after Till’s minivan slammed into a stopped car being driven by Cespedes’ daughter, 19-year-old Ivon Despaigne, and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Angel Gonzalez, of Kissimmee. When the couple got out to check the damage, Till allegedly slashed Gonzalez’s throat and stabbed Despaigne in the neck.

Investigators say Till then got into the couple’s car and repeatedly rammed the vehicle ahead, occupied by Cespedes, her husband, 41-year-old Mario Despaigne, and their 6-month-old granddaughter.

The couple got their granddaughter out of the car seat and Cespedes was trying to flee with the baby in her arms when she was killed, Mario Despaigne said in an interview with The Ledger, which was conducted through an interpreter.

Mario Despaigne said Till drove over his wife’s leg, then ran over her again after seeing she was still moving. Despaigne said he grabbed the baby. Then Gonzalez got into Till’s van and hit him, then tried to back over him, but Till rolled out of the way, according to the arrest report.

Till then allegedly ran back to his van, ignoring commands to stop from a Lake Hamilton police officer who happened upon the scene. Till sped off, hitting officer David Hurst in the arm and midsection with the van’s open door.

Till had locked himself in his bathroom and cut his wrists by the time investigators found him, the report said. He allegedly admitted the attacks to his wife and mother.

The police report listed Gonzalez and Ivon Despaigne in critical condition, but a local hospital would not provide information about their condition Tuesday.

Till was being held Tuesday in the Polk County Jail on charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, carjacking and improper exhibition of a weapon. It was not immediately known if Till had an attorney.

Winterhaven Hospital’s site provided the following details about the victims:

 

  • Ivon Despaigne, 19, of 1436 Swan Court, Kissimmee, who suffered from apparent stab wounds and was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where was in critical condition this afternoon.
  • Angel Gonzalez, 21, of 771 Camel Court, Kissimmee, who suffered from apparent stab wounds and also was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
  • Oxalis Cespedes, 41, of 1436 Swan Court, Kissimmee, who died at the scene. The Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office reported this afternoon that she suffered severe burns and died from asphyxiation.

 

Bottom line, folks, don’t engage others in a bout of road rage. You never know who you’re dealing with. Two minutes after you’ve calmed down from an asphalt altercation, you’ll have forgotten about it. BUT if you take action, or if the other person takes action, your life could be unalterably changed for the worse.

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I’m passionate about representing my injured clients. I'm a Personal injury lawyer who treats you with the respect that you deserve.

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