ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol is searching for one of two drivers involved in a pair of deadly crashes early Thursday along the same stretch of Orange Blossom Trail.
Troopers say the crashes are related. The first happened, they say, when a red SUV passed a man crossing the street near 41st Street, authorities said. The driver then turned around and hit the man after crossing over the median.
That driver, 22-year-old Lazeya Rivera, of Clermont, has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter and driving on a suspended license.
Investigators say three good Samaritans rushed in to help the man who had been hit, identified as Nostaky Exantus. Troopers say that's when a speeding black Lexus sedan hit the group in the road.
"A vehicle that was coming at a high rate of speed northbound struck all three of those pedestrians," FHP Lt. Kim Montes said.
Exantus, 39, and 32-year-old Damion Bradford, one of the good Samaritans, were killed.
The two other good Samaritans were taken to a hospital. One of them was reported in critical condition.
Troopers say three people in the SUV were also taken to the hospital. They believe the driver was impaired.
Troopers are still looking for the second vehicle, the Lexus sedan, that hit the group of good Samaritans helping the pedestrian hit in the first crash.
An Orange County deputy attempted to pull the driver over for speeding around 3 a.m. Thursday but the attempted traffic stop was terminated when the driver refused to stop. The license plate number of the Lexus is LLTC87. The vehicle will likely have front end damage.
Troopers said they have made contact with the registered owner of the Lexus, but they do not believe she was driving.
Investigators are using surveillance video from nearby businesses to help with their investigation.
"Good hearted people, they went out here to help this pedestrian that was struck and ended up being victims themselves," Montes said. "It just speaks to people wanting to help but we want to remind people whether you get out of a vehicle or you are helping a pedestrian - when you are getting out to help people in a crash - you are vulnerable and you have to lookout for your safe being as you are helping somebody else."
The crashes shut down the northbound lanes of Orange Blossom Trail for several hours.
Anyone with information about the Lexus or the crashes is asked to call FHP at 407-737-2213.