DID DELRAY COPS NOT KNOW PERSON WAS DEAD? “NOT NCIS.”
Police Chief Russ Mager, City Attorney Lynn Gelin, Spokespeople Gina Carter And Ted White Suppressing Details… But Leaks Leak…
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
UPDATE at 10:45 a.m: The Delray Beach Police Department — hours after we ran the article below — finally released basic information concerning the crash. It is published at the end of this article. We note that it is unprecedented that the basic information below was withheld for 48 hours.
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2023 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Were Delray Beach police officers confused about the severity of the situation in the initial moments of a response to the fatal crash in the area of Atlantic Avenue and Military Trail around 5 a.m. on Monday? That’s the claim that multiple sources are making following our reporting that the City of Delray Beach — inexplicably — will not release crash details more than 48 hours after someone died.
In a region where police departments routinely provide critical and fatal crash information to the media and public within hours of a high-profile event, the City of Delray Beach continues to refuse to offer information about the crash that shut down Military Trail and Atlantic Avenue for much of Monday morning. The City claims it’s not “suppressing” facts or details — but still refuses to say what happened, who was involved, or at the very least their ages.
“I know (tv shows like) NCIS would have us all think things only take an hour to resolve, but unfortunately that’s just not the case,” wrote Delray Beach Communications Director Gina Carter to BocaNewsNow.com in an email copied to City Attorney Lynn Gelin and Police Chief Russ Mager. Despite Carter’s comments, police departments across South Florida routinely release preliminary details within hours of a major crash.
But multiple sources appalled by the Delray Beach Police Department’s refusal to share information with the public are themselves sharing internal dispatch logs and radio communication with BocaNewsNow.com. Those people suggest that something wasn’t quite right with the response Monday morning and that police and city officials may be trying to delay information release. While Delray Beach Fire Rescue acted promptly and professionally, there are questions about the police actions. We stress that have no way of knowing what’s true and what isn’t — the City of Delray Beach continues to ignore our questions. The best way to prevent speculation is to provide fact.
Here’s what we have learned thanks to sources with knowledge of events: Delray Beach Fire Rescue and Delray Beach Police were first dispatched to the scene at Military Trail and Atlantic Avenue at 5:01 a.m. For reasons that remain unclear, Fire Rescue apparently arrived well before the police department arrived. When police did arrive, they were — according to sources — “clearly unaware of the severity of the situation.”
On the scene, Delray Beach Fire Rescue saw smoke emanating from one of the vehicles, then signs of fire. Additional units were dispatched to the scene at 5:07 a.m., 5:11 a.m., and 5:13 a.m. A full ten minutes after Fire Rescue arrived at the scene, sources say Delray Beach Police still had no idea that someone had died.
While Delray Beach Police won’t even confirm the types of vehicles involved, BocaNewsNow.com has learned both a Black Honda and a Red Honda collided. Among the injured according to our sources: a 25-year-old male who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. A 22-year-old woman who suffered from back and neck pain. And a 26-year-old male also suffering from back and neck pain. They were all rushed to Delray Medical Center. But more than two days after the crash, Delray Beach Police still will say nothing about the deceased individual, or how the crash occurred.
This is the latest issue affecting response and public information involving the Delray Beach Police Department. It took nearly four weeks — and threat of a lawsuit — for Delray Beach Police to release information concerning the New Year’s Eve crash that left four people injured on Atlantic Avenue. A woman, on a cell phone, slammed into multiple people crossing the street. Public Information Officer Ted White — whose sole job is to release information to the public — refused to release information to the public until late January. The information revealed that Delray Beach Police only charged the woman driving the striking vehicle — while videotaping on her phone — with careless driving. She was fined less than $200.
And Delray Beach police have still not released specifics of the Brightline Train incident from last week, in which two people died south of Linton Boulevard.
*INFORMATION RELEASED BY DELRAY BEACH AT 10:45 a.m. WEDNESDAY: “
“A Delray Beach woman was killed early Monday morning in a crash at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and S. Military Trail in Delray Beach. The Delray Beach Police Department Traffic Homicide Unit is investigating the crash that occurred at 5:04 a.m. The victim was driving south on S. Military Trail when her red Mazda SUV was struck on the passenger side by a black Honda Accord traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed.
The driver of the Honda Accord, Balmont Thompson, 28, and his three passengers were transported to the hospital. Three of the occupants experienced serious bodily injuries. Alcohol is believed to have played a part in this crash.
The driver of the Mazda was pronounced deceased at the scene. Her name is being withheld at the request of her next of kin, citing Marsy’s Law.”
Listen to South Florida’s First News with Andrew Colton, weekdays from 6-10 a.m., on NewsRadio 610 WIOD. Simulcast on 105.9HD2. Streaming in the iHeart Radio App. Tell Alexa, Google, Siri, to play NewsRadio 610 WIOD.
Content copyright © 2023 Metro Desk Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. BocaNewsNow.com ® is a registered trademark of MetroDesk Media, LLC. For our intellectual property, terms, and conditions, read here. Broadcast stations must credit BocaNewsNow.com on air. Print must refer to BocaNewsNow.com. Online must link to BocaNewsNow.com. Contact news (at) bocanewsnow.com. Call 561-576-NEWS (6397). Arrest reports are police accusations. Guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law.
The Latest From BocaNewsNow.com
- DISCRIMINATION? Fort Lauderdale Blocks Handicapped From Bathroom
- Person Dies In Boca Raton Crash, Victim Name Withheld By Police Claiming Marsy’s Law
- BOCA RUDETON: No, That’s Not A Parking Space In Front Of Publix
- Boca West Country Club Sues Homeowner Over Unpaid Dues
- Area Motorcyclist Crashes, Dies On Operating Room Table
- Women From Boca Raton, Delray Beach Victimized On St. Patrick’s Day
- MAJOR TRAFFIC INCIDENT: Turnpike Completely Shut In Area Of Hard Rock Stadium
- In Fort Lauderdale, Vegans More Important Than Handicapped, Elderly, Infirm
- UPDATE: SHOOTING VICTIM FOUND ON FLORIDA TURNPIKE IN BOCA RATON