ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Three people lost their lives when a van slammed into the back of their SUV last year and now two people have been arrested in connection to the crash.
Troopers say the van was involved in a road rage incident with another driver.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the deadly collision happened the evening of May 14, 2020 on State Road 16 east of Woodlawn Road in St. Johns County.
According to court documents, the three people were inside a Chevrolet Equinox that was stopped at a red light along State Road 16 when the van, being driven by Joseph Devenuta, 70, rear-ended them.
The Equinox’s driver, Christopher Converse, and the two passengers, Patricia Vos and Lora Holley, were killed.
At the time of the crash, Devenuta was engaged in a road rage incident with Lucas Hedetniemi-Hart, a 20-year-old driver of a Ford F-150, that started more than two miles away on U.S. 1.
The FHP report states that surveillance video show the two drivers following each other closely, running each other off the road and chasing each other.
There were also witnesses to their reckless driving.
Devenuta told investigators that he was trying to use his cellphone to take a picture of Hedetniemi-Hart’s truck while he was driving.
Both drivers had cellphones and did not call 911 to report the road rage, according to FHP, and neither tried to pull over to remove themselves from the situation.
Court documents show that both were arrested this month. Both drivers face three vehicular homicide felony charges.
Action News Jax has requested the mug shots for Hedetniemi-Hart and Devenuta. We are still waiting for Devenuta’s mug shot.
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