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As Amir Pelleg, his wife Zulma Pelleg, and their two daughters headed to the park near their Sunny Isles Beach condo in July 2018, they never expected that this would be the last time they all took a walk together. As the family of four walked near Collins Avenue, they were struck by a van that had veered off the roadway, reports the Miami Herald. The impact of the crash caused Amir Pelleg to die instantly and his wife to suffer a traumatic brain injury. While the two girls also suffered injuries, they struggled more over the death of their father.

After police began investigating the accident, they determined that Joseph Franco, 28 was the person behind the wheel of the Honda Odyssey van. The news source reported that Franco had allegedly been driving high on whippets just before the fatal crash. Whippets refer to canisters that contain nitrous oxide that are used to get a person high. When the nitrous oxide is inhaled, it gives the user a euphoric-type feeling.

Officials were able to conclude that Franco was driving high on whippets after they recovered 12 used canisters of nitrous oxide and nine unused canisters in a duffel bag that Franco dumped in a nearby garbage can after the incident. An investigation also revealed that the canisters, which were all labeled as “XXX Platinum Triple Refined Cream Chargers” had been purchase at a North Miami-Dade smoke shop the previous day.

A forensic lab in Texas determined that the canisters had contained illegal amounts of nitrous oxide.

Aside from being accused of getting high off of whippets, Franco also was faulted for failing to avoid the accident. After an examination was performed on the van’s electronic computer system, it releveled that Franco “never stepped on the brakes, and there is no evidence that he tried to steer away from hitting the Pellegs.” Franco was sentenced in January 2020 to three years in prison and five years on probation.


Seeking Justice After a Car Crash in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you or a loved one were involved in a car crash in Fort Lauderdale, FL and you are seeking justice for the pain and suffering you now have to live with, the Fort Lauderdale, FL car accident attorneys at Madalon Law want to help you. The lawyers at Madalon Law know how damaging a car crash can be and will dedicate themselves to your case to ensure a favorable outcome is obtained. To schedule an initial consultation with a Fort Lauderdale, FL car accident lawyer, call 954-923-0072.


You can reach Madalon Law at:


100 N. Federal Highway, #CU5

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: 954-923-0072