Saturday, June 22

Survivor of deadly crash in Royal Palm Beach shares his story

A day after a deadly crash in Royal Palm Beach, one of the victims, 22-year-old Juan Francisco, was released from the hospital.

He shared what happened exclusively to WPTV reporter Joel Lopez at his home in Riviera Beach.

“How have the last 24 hours been for you and your family?” Lopez asked about Francisco, who was in a landscaping truck that was hit head-on by an Audi going at a high speed in a residential neighborhood.

“It’s terrible cause you know, everybody is worried about me. We could have all died,” Francisco said. “My neck hasn’t recovered, my arm hasn’t recovered, my chest hasn’t recovered cause when I breathe I have trouble breathing now like on my chest.”

Francisco, 26, said he supports his 5-year-old daughter and pregnant wife.

He said he works for the landscaping company AF Gardens and the three men had finished up a job and were headed to the next one when the crash happened Monday afternoon on Pance De Leon.

“And out of nowhere, right around the corner of the curb … it was so fast like it’s so hard to comprehend what just happened,” Francisco said about the moment when a white Audi crashed into their truck head on. “The white car was destroyed. The truck was destroyed. It was unreal.”

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said the driver responsible was 37-year-old Rolando Rancano, of Labelle, Florida, who they said was driving a stolen car at a high speed and died in the crash.

“I go to work to support my family you know, and look what happened now, for somebody speeding like that,” Francisco said.

Francisco said the landscaping truck had him and two other workers inside and said they were wearing their seatbelts.

One of the workers is his uncle, Felipe Fransisco Felix, 43, who suffered a broken arm and is still in the hospital.

Francisco said the third worker, Dejuan Thomas, 37, broke his leg and underwent surgery and said at one point was on a ventilator.


According to Francisco, it was the man’s first day on the job.

“No one deserves to be in the hospital or injured just for somebody speeding,” Francisco said. “And I just hope everyone… You know there’s laws for a reason.”

Francisco said he’s not sure how long he’ll have to miss work but says his next hurdle will be hospital bills as he said he does not have medical insurance.

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