PAHOKEE -- Two Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies who were killed in the line of duty have been honored with the renaming of a portion of State Road 715.
Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Wallace and Deputy Sheriff Donta J. Manuel were killed in the line of duty during the night of Nov. 28, 2007, when they were struck and killed by a patrol car while attempting to remove stop sticks from the road.
In 2020, District 6 Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay requested that county staff prepare a resolution to rename a section of State Road 715 near the Palm Beach County Glades Airport in Pahokee in memory of the officers. Palm Beach County Commissioners passed the resolution and sent the request to the governor's office.
On Aug. 19, 2022, the signs on State Road 715 were unveiled.
In the early morning hours of Nov. 28, 2007, 33-year-old Deputy Sheriff Donta J. Manuel Sr. a 13-year veteran of PBSO and 23-year-old Deputy Sheriff Jonathan D. Wallace, who had been with PBSO for 18 months, were responding to a report of a stolen vehicle in progress in the City of Belle Glade.
The stolen vehicle was located and was traveling north on State Road 715 out of the City of Belle Glade and into the unincorporated area of the City of Pahokee. Several PBSO Deputies were in pursuit of the stolen vehicle.
As the vehicle was traveling north on State Road 715, Deputy Manuel and Deputy Wallace began to set up a tactical initiative to apprehend the fleeing stolen vehicle by deploying spiked stop sticks in the roadway.
Deputy Manuel and Deputy Wallace positioned themselves in an area of State Road 715 just south of the Pahokee Airport and north of West Morgan Road. This area of State Road 715 is a very dark section and has no street lighting.
Deputy Manuel and Deputy Wallace were advised over the radio to deploy the stop sticks as the fleeing stolen vehicle approached. The stop sticks were deployed and the fleeing vehicle did run over the sticks, however continued north on State Road 715.
Due to the fact that several PBSO Deputies were still in pursuit of the fleeing stolen vehicle and quickly approaching the road block, Deputy Manuel and Deputy Wallace entered the roadway to remove the stop sticks.
At some point in their attempt to remove the stop sticks from the roadway, both Deputy Manuel and Deputy Wallace were struck and killed by one of the pursuing PBSO vehicles.
The fleeing stolen vehicle was later recovered abandoned close to the scene and a suspect was later apprehended and arrested.