When Fast and Furious Locals Meet Slo-Mo Tourists, Consequences Are Deadly

Like a crappy movie sequel franchise, it seems the souped-up, tricked-out import cars driven recklessly by immature teens and even more stunted 20- and 30-somethings are here to stay. As are tourists, who -- you may have noticed -- like to drive slow enough to savor their South Florida getaway. And that means we'll have more stories like this one, which tells of a fatal crash allegedly caused by 17-year-old Jerome Peel driving his Honda far too fast on Military Trail in Jupiter.

That crash occurred in March of last year. The trial for vehicular homicide has been set for this November in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. Peel hasn't exactly built a sympathetic case for himself -- the surviving victim, Casey Wondergem, claims Peel screamed at him in the moments following the crash. Since they were both traveling south on Military Trail, it seems likely that Peel blamed the victim for driving too slow.

Now he faces a possible 11-year prison sentence.

The couple's hometown paper, the Grand Rapids Press, has more on the victim, 76-year-old Violet Wondergem, who was a patron of the local arts scene and who along with her husband, Casey, were close friends with the founders of Amway.

Speaking of bad drivers and unfortunate tourists, the local who's part of an even more notorious fatal accident, Ryan LeVin, may be getting out of prison next month. LeVin is said to have loaned his Porsche to a friend, Derek Cook, who he told police was the driver when it crashed along Seabreeze Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale Beach, killing two British tourists. LeVin had been jailed on a probation violation in connection with another high-speed case in his family's hometown of Chicago.

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Thomas Francis