A return trip from shopping for school supplies turned tragic when three people died and one was seriously injured after the Lexus sport utility vehicle in which they were traveling careened off Interstate 95, crashed through a chain-link fence and plunged into a lake late Wednesday in Deerfield Beach.
The group, including a mother and daughter, was on the way home from the Town Center at Boca Raton mall, said family members of the only survivor, Sandalie Jean-Baptiste, 20, who was listed in poor condition Thursday evening at Broward Health North hospital.
Broward Sheriff’s Office firefighters and divers pulled Jean-Baptiste from the submerged Lexus after receiving a call for help shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday, BSO said. They also found Nadege Theodore, 37, and Guivens Daverman, 16, in the canal.
All three were in cardiac arrest, and rescuers transported them to Broward Health North in critical condition, said Mike Jachles, a BSO spokesman.
Doctors pronounced Theodore and Daverman dead at the hospital.
But rescuers were unaware of a fourth victim — 15-year-old Lynn Theodore, who divers found Thursday morning — until after police notified family members of the accident. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
All four of the people traveling in the Lexus were related, according to family members and friends.
Lynn Theodore was Nadege Theodore’s daughter, family members said Thursday night.
Daverman was Theodore’s nephew, and Jean-Baptiste is her stepsister, said Duly Charles, who is the father of Theodore’s 8-year-old son Deemily Charles. Deemily was not in the car with his mother and sister.
Charles struggled with grief as he spoke Thursday. He said he did not know how to break the news to his son, who already suspects something terrible has happened.
“He sees everyone crying,” Charles said. “I’m sure he knows. Me, I tell him his mother is sleeping.”
He described Theodore as a devoted mother, and a deeply religious member of the Baptist faith.
“Nadege is the type of person that you knew the kids were in good hands,” he said. “She loved to dress up the kids to go to church. She always put the kids before herself.”
The two met in their hometown of Okap, Haiti. Theodore immigrated to the United States in 1994, Charles said.
After reuniting in Broward County, they had a child together — Deemily. But he always treated Lynn as his own daughter, Charles said.
“She called me daddy,” he said. “I told people she was my child.”
He said Daverman, Jean-Baptiste and Lynn Theodore were at the Town Center shopping for school supplies, and that Nadege Theodore stopped after work to pick them up.
Theodore worked as a certified nursing assistant, Charles said, and she was enrolled at ITT Technical Institute.
“She was one step away from becoming an RN [registered nurse],” he said. “That was her dream.”
Lynn wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother. A sophomore at Blanche Ely High School’s magnet program, Lynn Theodore was a straight-A student and wanted to be a nurse, said her aunt, Edmonde Emmanuel.
Guivens Daverman was also a sophomore at Blanche Ely, where he played football and was on the track team, Emmanuel said. A jokester who loved to dance, he was seldom without a smile on his face.