Family shares heartbreak after father killed, toddler critically injured in suspected DUI crash
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Police say a woman took five shots of tequila before getting behind the wheel and crashing into a family of four. They were on the way to the airport for family vacation. The dad was killed, a toddler left in critical condition.
“Is just not fair that he was taken away from everyone,” said Cynthia Robertson whose brother Steve Palmatier was killed.
A manufacturing engineer, Palmatier was with his family on the way to the airport to fly to Chicago on the morning of June 1, 2022. Robertson had never met her nephew, 3-year-old Wyatt, because of the pandemic.
“We were planning on having a few family days, going to the Brookfield Zoo and the Field Museum,” shared Robertson.
The family never made it. Their SUV was hit near Centennial High School and the 215. Palmatier died on scene.
“We are just really going to miss him,” Robertson cried. Palmatier’s wife, daughter and son were all injured. The 3-year-old hit his head hard and had skull fractures leaving him in critical condition.
“He was actually sedated for a few days to give him time to rest and start healing. Right now, he is doing much better… he is awake and talking and even starting to joke around,” Robertson shared.
The toddler is still in wheelchair and will have to go to a rehab center for physical therapy.
A fundraiser has been started to help the family on what will be a long road to recovery without their beloved father and husband.
“Steve was a really, really good person... He was very hard working. He was funny. He always liked to laugh,” Robertson recounted. Robertson hopes her brother’s death will be a wakeup call for others as the decision to drink and drive ended one life and changed many others forever.
“It only takes a few minutes to call somebody or call an Uber or even sit there for a couple hours until you feel better,” Robertson contended.
The driver accused of causing the crash, Lisa Geurino, faces DUI and hit-and-run charges. Police say her 2019 Jeep Cherokee was left at the scene of the crash only a few hundred feet from her apartment.
She was found sleeping in her bed. Police say Geurino admitted to brushing her teeth before talking to them.
Based on the investigation, police believe the Jeep failed to stop at a stop sign and was speeding, going 66 mph at the time of the crash in a 45 mph speed zone. Police said the brakes were never applied.
Copyright 2022 KVVU. All rights reserved.