GROVELAND, Fla. - More information has surfaced on Tuesday on the driver who crashed into several trees and a telephone pole in Lake County, killing his 3 children.
Troopers said 41-year-old Wilfredo Malave lost control of his car while driving on State Road 33 and Groveland Airport Road Friday night. The man, his two boys, 9-year-old Zion and 7-year-old Phoenix and little girl, 2-year-old Avaya were killed when the car hit several trees and a telephone pole, according to FHP.
Local 6 has learned Malave and his wife were in the process of getting a divorce, and were in a dispute over custody of the children.
According to court records, Christina Malave wanted sole custody of the children, but Willie Malave refused, disputed paying child support and refused to turn over court documents relating to his finances.
FHP hasn't released the cause of the crash yet, but records show Willie Malave has had 8 speeding tickets since 2000, three tickets for failing to obey traffic devices, making an improper turn and an open container violation. He also had a DUI conviction that resulted in his license being suspended twice.
It's not clear if alcohol was involved in the crash. Friends say the crash being alcohol-related is not possible.
"I don't think Willy would do anything like that with his kids in the car in the car," said Kirk Dawson. "I would like to think that he wouldn't. I don't think he would he loved those kids."
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