Suwannee Democrat

Local News

December 2, 2013

Details released in Thanksgiving Day wreck that killed 3

Live Oak —

Three Live Oak residents were killed, one a teenager, and one seriously injured on Thanksgiving Day after the vehicle they were riding in crashed into a Live Oak business after fleeing from local authorities, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to FHP, Lonnie Lavern Freeman, 20, and Patrelle J. Stokes, 16, both from Live Oak, were pronounced deceased on scene following the wreck. Shiateria Wimbash, 20, Live Oak, was pronounced dead the following day at Shands Gainesville. 

FHP reports that the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office was called to McDonald's restaurant at I-10 and US 129 North around 12:50 a.m. on an active disturbance call.

“We received a call from McDonalds of a group of 8-9 people harassing customers and being loud. When the managers tried to talk to them and eventually asked them to leave, they wouldn’t leave. They needed some deputies out there,” Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron said.

Cameron said when the deputy arrived, he began by talking to the group that was being the loudest. During that time some tried to leave the scene. The deputy was then informed those trying to leave were part of the group. 

Freeman and his passengers, Stokes, Kwon Lavelle Matthews, 23, and Wimbash, loaded up in a 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo attempting to flee the scene. 

“The deputy tried to stop them by standing in front of the car,” Cameron said. “That didn’t stop them and the deputy moved out of the way. There was a car partially blocking the lane. They struck that car with the passenger side, leaving scrape marks down the side of the vehicle. They took off and headed south (on US 129 toward Live Oak).”

Cameron said by the time the driver moved the vehicle for the deputy to get by, the people fleeing “got a pretty good head start.”  

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