FHP: Father, 3 children killed in Lake County crash


GROVELAND, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a single-car crash Friday night in Lake County that left a father and his three children dead. 


Troopers said 41-year-old Wilfredo Malave was driving his 2009 Mercedes on State Road 33 and Groveland Airport Road at around 6:45 p.m. when he lost control on a curve. The car hit several trees and a telephone pole, according to FHP.

Malavo and his 9-year-old son, Zion, were pronounced dead at the scene. Phoenix Malave,7, and Avaya Malave, 2, died at Southlake Hospital in Clermont.

"We think that after he came out of the curve, from what witnesses were saying, he lost control after that," FHP Sgt. Dan Willix siad.

Neighbors call it a dead man's curve.

Area resident Gloria said, "That curve is really dangerous, something needs to be done about it."


The speed limit on that stretch of S.R. 33  is 60 mph, and homicide investigators were working to learn how fast the driver was going. All were wearing seat belts and the youngest child was in a car seat. Troopers say two of the kids had only the lap belt, but the impact was so strong it wouldn't have mattered.

The Medical Examiner will run tests to see if Malave was drinking before the crash, but the results could take weeks.

WKMG-TV in Orlando learned that Malave has been charged with drunk driving before. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office documents show he was charged with DUI in November 2010.