published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Crash victims identified
MILLARD K. IVES | Staff Writer
A 41-year-old Lakeland father and his three children killed last Friday night when their car struck several trees and a pole near Groveland were identified on Saturday.
The father and driver was Wilfredo Malave, who along with his son Zion, 9, died at the scene. Phoenix, 7, and Avaya, 2, were pronounced dead at South Lake Hospital, according to FHP.
The crash occurred about 6:45 p.m. Friday on State Road 33 at Groveland Airport Road, just south of Groveland, with a posted 60 mph speed limit.
According to a FHP report, the elder Malave was driving south on State Road 33 when for unknown reasons his red 2009 Mercedes-Benz came out of a curve, left the roadway and plowed into several trees and a pole.
The vehicle then struck another tree that crushed the car's roof and caused it to stop.
The three males were wearing seatbelts, although it's not known if they were wearing shoulder belts. Avaya was strapped in a car seat.
The FHP initially reported the accident Friday but didn't immediately release the victims' names after being unable to reach next of kin.
FHP officials said the accident is still under investigation and alcohol tests are pending.