Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Berry Pickers Killed In Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Six men hired to pick palmetto berries were killed in a crash in their van in Glades county at State Road 78 and State Road 29, just north of LaBelle.

Identified are Jose Martin Saavedra, age 35 of Immokalee, the driver of a 1993 Chevrolet van.

Passengers were: Jose Martin Saavedra age 35, Lucas Reyes Flores age 21, Jose Marie Arellano age 68, Rigoberto Reyes Perez age 20, Sergio Saul Zalazer age 21, all of Immokalee.

The crash happened about 6:30 A.M. Monday. The wife of the driver advised FHP that the victims were en route to pick palmetto berries.

Workers are seasonally hired to pick red palmetto berries, most often on private property without landowner permission, especially around the vacant lots of Port LaBelle and Montura.


  1. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Well, I am saddened that this crew of workers were killed while engaging in this very much unknown and unexposed issue involving invading private property without permision for someone's personal financial gain.
    Every year for months at a time these crews of workers literally invade in particular Montura by the hundreds. Prowling around near people's adjasent empty lots hiding in the bushes unchallenged and without the phantom property owner's consent. These people come within close proximity of children and families and for all they know they could be sex offenders, felons or murderers. Even if these people in that instance themselves are not, a criminal could mimic one of these people to gain access to a property and put someone in danger.
    In Montura, it is quite obvious that the up front gangsters that control everything there are getting a cut of the profits since it is known that these berries were picked in and around extensive marijuana plantations with marijuana plants numbering in the tens of thousands while somehow these illegal drug grows went unreported year after year. Additionally the dope farmers did not seem to mind these people prowling around.
    Everything is a gang operated enterprise in highly protected paid off Montura.

  2. Anonymous7:29 PM

    I can only wonder now if this is the same van of 'pickers' that I called the Glades County SO on the day before and they (GCSO) chose to not come out and respond to to my complaint. I'm sorry but these pickers are thieves and are stealing, but as usual GCSO looks the other way...

    Yes I am sorry these men lost their lives in the manner in which they...but it still makes me unhappy about the way they chose to earn a living.