A Royal Palm Beach man’s vacation to Orlando turned into a nightmare after a multi-vehicle crash killed his wife and two children in front of him.
Wagner Salvador is the sole survivor of a crash that killed his wife, Veruska, and children, 12-year-old Ashley and 11-year-old Albert.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says an 83-year-old man behind the wheel of a truck tried to pass cars on State Road 60 last Friday night, but when he crossed into the other lane, he drove nearly head-on into Salvador’s car.
“They can be here one minute and they’re gone the next. I still can’t even believe that they’re gone,” Brian Cote said. “I can’t imagine what he’s going to be going through.”
Cote says Salvador is not just one of his best employees at his fencing company; he’s family.
“He lost everything. His family was everything to him,” he said. “He just had his kids here last week. I took them all out as a family on the boat, and I have pictures of the kids playing in the water and on the boat.”
Cote says Ashley and Albert were both bright students who had their whole lives ahead of them, while Veruska was the rock in the family.
“The way Salvador was with those two kids, it was just amazing. It’s like a family that you see, that you wish you were like that with your kids,” Cote said.
Salvador is recovering at a hospital in Central Florida after suffering multiple broken bones.
“To get him through these tough times he’s going to need financial help. That’s why I thought of the GoFundMe,” Cote said.
Cote has stepped up and is doing what he can to help his relatives who are travelling from the Dominican Republic, now left with the tough task to plan three funerals as they process this unimaginable loss.
“It’s like my family. You lost a part of it. I know that he is going to struggle," Cote said.
The driver who investigators suspect was at fault died after the crash. The sheriff’s office says he was from Hobe Sound.