Driver Charged Following 2021 Turnpike Road Rage Incident In Boca Raton That Killed Florida Teen
Gregory Lowe Charged With Manslaughter For 2021 Road Rage Crash On Turnpike That Killed A Florida Teenager, Out On $120k Bond
BOCA RATON, FL – Boca Post (BocaPost.com) — A Greenacres man is charged with the death of a 17-year-old Florida boy after a road rage incident on the turnpike in Boca Raton last year.
FHP and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue responded to a multiple vehicle accident on the Turnpike in unincorporated Boca Raton at approximately 11 AM on Tuesday, April 6th, 2022 where they found a deceased Florida Teen.
Emergency first responders found a Toyota Camry which had rolled over several times. On scene, they found one deceased 17-year-old boy identified as Daquan Smith Jr., from Apopka, Florida. Daquan’s parents both received non-incapacitating injuries during the accident as well.
Investigators say that a black 2013 Ford Transit Connect van, driven by Gregory Lowe, was traveling southbound on State Road 91 south of State Road 808 in the center lane. A gray 2015 Toyota Camry, driven by Daquan Smith, was traveling south directly in front of the Lowe’s van in the center lane. A white Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Gelu Blagniceanu, was traveling southbound on State Road 91 in the outside lane next to Smith’s Camry.
Lowe’s van changed lanes from the center lane onto the inside lane ahead of Smith’s Camry. Lowe intentionally cut Smith off by aggressively entering the center lane occupied by Smith. This action forced Smith to veer off the roadway towards the outside paved shoulder where the Camry started to rotate clockwise. The Camry’s left front collided with the outside metal guardrail causing the Camry to overturn multiple times. The Camry struck the metal guardrail for a second time and traveled into the outside lane.
Consequently, the Silverado’s front collided with the Camry during the rollover on the outside shoulder as Blagniceanu steered to the right to avoid a collision with the Camry.
Daquan Smith Jr. was ejected onto the outside shoulder. The van came to a controlled stop on the outside paved shoulder 2,507 feet south of the AOC due to independent witness Alejandro Castro who followed Lowe. The Camry came to final rest on its roof facing east blocking the center and outside lane. The Silverado came to final rest facing south blocking the outside lane.
FHP conducted interviews of the drivers of multiple vehicles as well as an independent witness, who happened to be driving an Ambulance and has extensive training and was an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course Instructor at Miami-Dade Driving Range for 18 years. FHP found the witness and Lowe some distance from the actual location of the accident. That witness says he doesn’t think Lowe would have stopped if wasn’t for him using his lights and sirens on the Ambulance. He also said that Lowe became very defensive so as to not have caused the traffic crash and refuted the need to wait for law enforcement.
After they both pulled over, Lowe got out of the vehicle and approached the witness. The witness yelled, “stay back! stay back! I am on the phone with 911.”. Lowe then responded with “people are always cutting me off in this (expletive)” and “that same vehicle cut me off last week”, referring to the vehicle he had just caused an accident with, which lead to the rollover.
“I saw him physically taunt the other vehicle at least three times, and that was when I called 911 because it was very obvious this was going to escalate or end up in a crash.”, says the witness who called 911 and followed Lowe after the accident.
During an interview with FHP, Lowe said he saw hand gestures from Daquan Smith, driver of the Camry, which were defined as “hands up in the air, wanting to say there was a middle finger or a ‘get the (Expletive) out of the way’ type move.” When describing Smith, Lowe stated “pretty sure it was a male, because like I said, I was getting yelled at.” Lowe was asked several times to explain the hand gestures and he deflected the question by stating that maybe it was meant for someone within the Camry. Lowe said that Smith drifted slightly towards him in the outside lane and Smith was decelerating.
At one point during the interview, Lowe told FHP that he is oftentimes involved in road rage situations. He told them that this time was not road rage, saying “My van was not contacted I did not hit anybody and drive away.”
FHP spoke to Daquan’s parents at Delray Medical Center, who both gave similar accounts of Lowe tailgating them, swerving at them, and making many gestures at them like they were driving too slowly. “He was riding us telling us to go fast like somebody wanting you to speed up and he got mad at my husband because he was not going as fast as he wanted to go. So, he came back talking junk and sideswiped us.”, says Eboni Tucker-Smith, Daquan’s mother. She goes on, “It was a couple of minutes, he had time to even cool down from the point that you want us to go fast, but you came back”.
All witnesses and drivers admit that the weather was clear, the roads were dry, and the traffic was light to moderate.
In July of 2022, FHP filed for a warrant for the arrest of Gregory Lowe. Lowe was arrested and charged with the following:
- 2 counts 784.045(1A22) AGGRAVATED BATTERY (DEADLY WEAPON)
- 782.071(1A) TCATS VEHICULAR HOMICIDE
- 784.045(1A1) AGGRAVATED BATTERY (DEADLY WEAPON, BODILY HARM)
Lowe was arrested on Friday, July 29th, 2022, and booked into the PBSO jail after 9 PM. Lowe was released from jail less than 24 hours later on a $120k bond.