Guilty: Huffing driver reached 100 mph; crash killed family

scales of justice
Posted at 10:08 AM, Oct 27, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A young man who killed a family in a high-speed crash after ingesting household dust cleaner has been convicted of vehicular homicide.

Jurors found Paul Streater, now 25, guilty of four counts of vehicular homicide in the 2018 crash, which killed a family visiting Florida from Mexico and Argentina.

Prosecutors said Streater, who was in rehabilitation for drug abuse at the time, was on a “euphoric" high from huffing a can of household dust cleaner and traveling at speeds reaching 100 mph (161 kph) when he crashed into the family's minivan in Delray Beach.

Assistant State Attorney Storm Tropea said Streater faces up to 40 years in prison in the deaths of Jorge Raschiotto, 50, his sister Veronica Raschiotto, 42, and her two children, Diego, 8, and Mia, 6. Jorge Raschiotto specialized in adult education as a professor at Argentina's National University of Lomas de Zamora. He and Veronica, from Mexico, were visiting their sister Silvina in Florida.

The jury acquitted Streater on felony counts of DUI manslaughter and driving under the influence, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Defense attorney Samuel Halpern told jurors that the chemical found in Streater’s bloodstream was inadvertently ingested due to the car having been cleaned and detailed that day. He also argued that a “catastrophic” malfunction caused Streater’s vehicle to accelerate and left him unable to stop.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen revoked Streater’s bond and will sentence him on Dec. 20. His attorney said they will appeal.