Family demands justice three years after fatal NYE crash

Justin Fonner has pleaded not guilty to charges

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Family and friends are demanding justice after their loved ones were killed in a crash on New Year’s Eve three years ago.

Cedrilin Pabarue and Everyis Lopez said their family still feels anger and pain.

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“I’m not asking for justice. I’m demanding it. I’m demanding that you follow through with this case,” Cedrilin Pabarue said.

Their sister, Geena Pabarue, and her friend Keisha Oyola were killed in a car crash on Dec. 31, 2017.

Friends and family gathered at the site on Orange Avenue on Friday to remember the young women and the lives they touched.

“These two girls were exceptional. They literally didn’t belong in this world. They were like two walking angels,” Lopez said.

Winter Park police said Justin Fonner was speeding down Orange Avenue. Investigators said he reached speeds up to 120 miles per hour and t-boned into the victims’ vehicle.

Fonner was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and reckless driving. He has pleaded not guilty.

Fonner’s case still has not gone to trial. Both the State Attorney’s Office and his defense team have filed several motions for continuance. The COVID-19 pandemic has also delayed court proceedings.

Fonner’s attorney, Jonathan Rose, said in an email to News 6 “Cases of this nature are complex and routinely take this long to come to trial.” He adds the “charges against Justin Fonner remain unproven allegations.” Rose also wrote “We believe the accident was just that - a tragic accident, and not a crime. We expect the evidence to reflect that belief when Mr. Fonner receives his full and fair trial.”

Geena’s family believes it has been too long and they are demanding justice.

“We believe that God will make justice, but we also want justice on Earth. we want justice here on well,” Lopez said.

According to court documents, a hearing is scheduled in Fonner’s case on Jan. 25.

After the crash, FDOT conducted a traffic study.

In October 2019, FDOT announced major changes were coming to the roadway, including building a traffic circle at Orange and Clay Avenues, reducing traffic down to one lane in each direction, and implementing two left-turn lanes at the corner of Orlando Avenue. FDOT said designs were supposed to start last year with public input meetings happening in 2021, but it’s unknown if the pandemic has caused any delays.