News Cast 5/10

News Cast for May 10th:

Two Okeechobee families devastated by traffic deaths

A 44 year prison sentence was handed down for two traffic fatalities.

31 year old Daylon Youngblood pled guilty to multiple felonies including two counts of DUI manslaughter.

Younglood operated a truck that slammed into a Malibu sedan killing 46 year old Mitch Mitchell near Mosquito Creek and 19 days later drove another truck collided with a smaller truck on 710 killing 20 year old Joshua Rothermel.

In the first crash he was going 102 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol of .272.

Gwen Mitchell was injured in the crash.  She said the loss of her father left her without structure and her best friend.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t remember and miss him.  My father was everything to me.  I used to always wanted to be with him.  All of this is because of you.  I pray that they show you no mercy.”

Prosecutor Ashley Albright had been pushing for a life sentence and said the families were disappointed

“I was disappointed.  Every single person in the families argued for a life sentence.  HE was entitled to that under the law and we felt that is what he deserved.  The facts of these cases were absolutely horrendous.  I can’t explain why the judge gave him the lowest possible sentence.”

Albright sayid the accidents were high speeds and left complete carnage and debris.

He noted Youngblood had a prior DUI and a burglary conviction.

Herb Rothermel lost his son in the second crash, a head on collision on route 710. 

Youngblood had a blood alcohol level of .267 in this crash.

Rothermel said he had a bad feeling that day and got a call from his son around the time of the crash.

He said he got a bad feeling around the time of the crash and received a phone call from his son’s cell phone.

“My boy was reaching out to me.  He wanted to me go and revive him and I couldn’t do it because of some drunk driver who was out on the road for the 100th time after killing someone three weeks earlier.  I couldn’t revive my boy I couldn’t be there for my son.”

The crashes also seriously injured six people including four children.

May is Mental health and prevention month.

Leah Suarez of Our Village told Okeechobee city council that are community is in crisis.

Her non-profit organization served over 17,000 families last year.

Suarez said a key issue is a lack of affordable housing.

She said she knows four families who are living out of cars.

She noted many can’t afford the rents being charged in Okeechobee.

Glades County Commissioners are bracing for a possible budget hit.

The Sheriffs office said a Florida law requires them to have two dispatchers on duty at all times, with one dedicated to 911 calls.

The county doesn’t have many 911 calls and commissioners discussed the efficiency of having two dispatchers.

The cost of five new dispatchers would be around $250,000 or more.

Chairman Tim Stanley suggested they ask other sheriffs office to provide the service for a fee, perhaps $50,000 per year.