Lake County family calling on community support after father, son die in Christmas Eve crash

Tommy, Thomas Silvestris were heading home to celebrate wife, mom’s birthday at time of crash

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Family members are calling on community support after a father and son lost their lives in a car crash Christmas Eve.

Tommy Silvestris, 49, and his 27-year-old son Thomas Silvestris died Friday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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“Just thinking this is happening I think I am going to wake up from a nightmare,” said Lloyd Wicks, the brother-in-law of Tommy and uncle of Thomas. “I think I speak for my whole family in saying that.”

Troopers said the pair were heading westbound on State Road 46 when they were hit by an SUV driver going eastbound who veered into their lane.

Wicks says Tommy and Thomas were preparing to celebrate his sister’s birthday that evening.

“They were doing last minute Christmas shopping and also birthday shopping for her as well, coming from the Sanford area and headed back home,” Wicks said.

The father and son never made it to their destination.

It’s unclear, according to troopers, why the SUV driver traveled over the traffic line divider and into the westbound lanes. As the investigation continues, Wicks says the family is doing their best to support his sister and the rest of the family.

“We have obviously kids and several nieces and nephews that depend on us having Christmas and push through and push forward,” Wicks said.

Pushing forward, according to Wicks, also means remembering the good times.

Both Tommy and Thomas were A/C mechanics. Thomas even had a love for fishing. Wicks says both were good men who were gone too soon.

“It’s just really unfortunate and tragic that this happened to us, something that we are never ever going to forget or it’s going to get any better,” Wicks said.

The SUV driver, a 21-year-old man from Summerfield, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital, where he remained at last check.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The family is leaning on the community during this time and have set up a GoFundMe, which you can visit by clicking here.

About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.