‘Failure to yield’ eyed in horrific fatal crash

Port St. Lucie police’s traffic homicide division is continuing its investigation into the Dec. 26 wreck on SW St. Lucie West Boulevard that left an 80-year-old woman dead and five others injured, including two children.

“This looks like a failure to yield the right of way,” said police spokesman Master Sgt. Frank Sabol.

According to police, Gracimise Exavier, 80, was riding in the front passenger seat of a 1998 Toyota Camry when it collided with a 2008 Nissan Rogue at 6:22 p.m. Dec. 26. Exavier was pronounced dead on the scene.

Two children, ages 8 and 14, and the driver, 49-year-old Joseph Cineus, along with the two people in the SUV were all taken to area hospitals. The youngest child was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center. The teen was taken to Lawnwood Medical Center.

Cineus was driving the Camry westbound and attempted a left turn onto SW California Boulevard in front of 52-year-old Kimberly Elkert’s Rogue. The SUV struck the car on the front passenger door, according to police.

So far, the investigation has determined that the green light was activated for east/west traffic on St. Lucie West Boulevard. Cineus did not have a green arrow, only the solid green, which requires drivers to yield to oncoming traffic before turning.

No charges have yet been filed in the crash as the investigation remains ongoing. Sabol said that the investigation could be completed in the next couple weeks, though toxicology might take longer.

This isn’t the first fatal wreck at that intersection either, according to Sabol. A motorcyclist was struck and killed in early October when an SUV attempted to make a turn onto SW California on a yellow light.

Sabol said the challenge with the intersection is that drivers wanting to turn north/south get the arrow to start but then have the solid light, which requires them to yield to oncoming traffic.

“We’ve been seeing (the failure to yield) on these last two” fatalities, Sabol said.

He said that the city’s Traffic Safety division has the information on the intersection, and that it’s up to the division whether any changes might be needed for the turn signals.

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