BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: Boca PD) — On Sunday morning, April 6, 2014, 65 year old George Morreale was riding his bicycle westbound in the bike lane of West Yamato Road, just passing I-95, when he was struck and killed by the driver of a Ford F150 pickup truck.
Officers of the Boca Raton Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit responded and began their investigation. Witnesses told officers that the driver of the Ford continued west on Yamato after colliding with the bicyclist. They provided police with the tag information and followed the truck until it turned around and headed back to the scene.
Officers met with Bianca Fichtel, who stated she was driving the truck, and Paul Maida, who claimed to be the passenger. Both Fichtel and Maida appeared impaired; they were unsteady on their feet, had slurred speech and appeared confused about the course of events. Maida had a revoked drivers license. In July 2014, investigators charged Fichtel with DUI manslaughter.
On May 27, 2015 Fichtel recanted her original statement and told investigators Maida was the driver of the Ford at the time of the fatal crash. Fichtel showed them an e-mail from Maida substantiating her story. After Fichtel’s statement, a search warrant was issued to obtain Maida’s e-mail correspondence.
On November 24, 2015 investigators received a disk with Maida’s e-mails. Information in the e-mails indicated Maida was the driver and not Fichtel. Through subpoenaed AT&T information, investigators confirmed that the IP address connected with the e-mails belonged to Maida. The charges against Fichtel were dropped and Maida was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with death, DUI manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, and making a false report to police.
Maida lists the 9500 block of Ohio Place in Boca Raton as home.
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