By BOB KECSKEMETY
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Israel J. Castillo, 25, was killed last week in an accident near the West Palm Beach International Airport. Castillo, who was known by friends as “Chino,” had previously worked as manager at Bottoms & Tops Outlet clothing store in Wilton Manors, and as a dancer at Johnny’s nightclub in Fort Lauderdale.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Castillo was in a pickup truck driving south on Australian Avenue, near the airport ramp, when he lost control and traveled into the median. Once on the median, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said that he struck a traffic sign and traffic signal, then crossed James Turnage Boulevard and hit another traffic pole before coming to a rest on the grass.
Castillo was ejected from his vehicle and died.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, alcohol appeared to have played a role in the crash.
“He was my boyfriend for two years, and later became my employee–first at my Bottoms & Tops Jocks store, then the Outlet store,” said John Anthony, owner of Bottoms & Tops Outlet Store. Although the two were no longer a couple, Anthony was generous in his praise of Castillo. “He was a good person and had a good heart, and his intentions were always good. It’s just a tragedy.”
Anthony said that this was the second recent tragedy for the Castillo family. Castillo’s sister died a month ago after being hit by a Tri-Rail train in Hollywood.
“The whole thing breaks my heart,” added Anthony.