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Man sentenced in 2018 crash that resulted in death of Titusville teen in St. Lucie County

A 21-year-old man was sentenced this week to four years in prison in connection with a 2018 traffic crash that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy from Titusville, according to records and attorneys. 

Dellavontay J. Crawford, of Southwest Highlands Drive in south Indian River County, was found guilty by a jury in March of vehicular homicide and sentenced Monday in Circuit Judge William L. Roby’s courtroom. 

Dellavontay Crawford

The crash that resulted in the death of Isaiah Santell, 16, happened in October 2018 on Russakis Road in northern St. Lucie County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol at the time. Isaiah was one of several teens riding in a southbound 2008 Ford truck that overturned in a canal after hitting two trees, according to the FHP. 

Crawford, the driver, was arrested in August 2019 in connection with the incident. He was 17 at the time of the crash, but a prosecutor has said he was charged as an adult. 

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Isaiah Santell

Assistant State Attorney Justin Miller said Wednesday he thought the most powerful evidence was testimony from a person riding in the cab of the truck. Isaiah and another person were in the truck’s bed, Miller said.

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“She testified … that she told him to slow down, slow down, slow down. She was frightened,” Miller said. “She testified that she told him to slow down and he did not slow down … it’s clear from the evidence and testimony that at some point, he loses control, and then the crash happens.”

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Miller reported there was testimony Crawford sped up and began a “fishtailing maneuver.”

He said there was no indication Crawford was drinking or impaired.

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“She testified, it’s her belief he intended to maneuver the vehicle in that manner, obviously, did not intend to lose control, crash into a tree and then ricochet into a canal,” Miller said.

Crawford’s attorney, Jerome Stone, said Tuesday his client didn’t testify at trial or sentencing. 

“You never know where things are going to go in terms of an appeal or anything like that,” Stone said. “I didn’t want to make any statements at sentencing.”

While sentenced to four years in prison, Crawford received 431 days credit for time served, records state. He also must serve two years’ probation.

Stone said Crawford was sentenced as a youthful offender and had no prior felony convictions.

While happy with the sentence, Stone said a death was involved. 

“Mr. Crawford has to live with that on a daily basis, as well as the parents of Mr. Santell,” Stone said. 

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In the days after the crash, Isaiah’s mother, Angelique Marketon, described him as an outspoken young man, a goofy guy who loved hip hop music and showed a strong personality.

Marketon said Isaiah lived with her in Titusville since just after Christmas 2017. He was a student at Astronaut High School in Titusville.

Stone said a group of individuals met up at a gas station and were on their way to a bonfire “just to hang out as kids hang out and listen to music.”

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The road where the incident happened was on the way, he said.

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/crime/st-lucie-county/2022/04/19/man-sentenced-2018-crash-left-teen-boy-dead/7366860001/?utm_source=ourcommunitynow&utm_medium=web

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