A Florida man is facing manslaughter and battery charges more than a year after a highway crash killed a teenage boy.
According to state authorities, Gregory Lowe, 39, cut off a Toyota Camry on the Florida Turnpike near Boca Raton in April 2021, causing the car to spin off the road, hit a guardrail, overturn and hit another vehicle. Daquan Smith Jr. was traveling to Miami in the Toyota with his parents from Central Florida. He was ejected from the vehicle and died. His parents sustained minor injuries.
Lowe was arrested on July 29 for one count of vehicular manslaughter and three counts of aggravated battery and is out on $120,000 bail. He was ordered to refrain from driving and stay away from the victims.
Florida Highway Patrol investigators said Lowe was enraged and deliberately changed lanes in front of the Toyota, causing it to run off the road. A private ambulance driver who witnessed the incident followed Lowe for 3 miles after the crash before he stopped. Investigators said the ambulance drove 80 mph trailing Lowe, who was driving a Ford Connect transit passenger van. The ambulance driver told highway patrol the van cut off the Camry at least three times. He called 911 before the crash.
“It was very obvious this was going to escalate or end an in a crash,” the witness said.
Daquan Smith Sr. told investigators Lowe gestured for Smith to drive faster. His wife, Eboni Tucker Smith, said the driver was “riding” the car and coaxing her husband to speed up. According to a Palm Beach Post report, Lowe was driving in the center lane behind the Toyota. He changed to the inside lane and “aggressively” entered the center lane cutting off the other car. It struck a Chevrolet Silverado. The driver and passenger of the Chevrolet were also injured in the crash, according to reports.
“That was no accident. That was on purpose,” Smith told investigators. “I know it was intentional. He came into my lane twice.”
Lowe also told investigators Smith made hand gestures and possibly waved his middle finger. He said he changed lanes to get away from the other driver and was preparing to exit in two miles. According to reports, Lowe told the ambulance driver that the same car had cut him off the past week.
“People are always cutting me off in this m—————r!” Lowe reportedly said.
The couple in the Toyota told authorities Lowe also sideswiped the car, but Florida Highway Patrol did not find evidence to support the claim.
“My van was not contacted. I did not hit anybody and drive away,” Lowe told investigators.
Eboni Tucker Smith said Daquan was a “sweet, creative, and helpful child” who was affectionately known as “Daddyo.”
“He loved to cook. He loved Sponge-Bob, and he loved the Lord,” his mother wrote on a fundraiser page, adding that she wants the “perpetrator” “prosecuted and convicted to the fullest extent of the law.”