37-year-old deaf man killed after road rage incident in Coral Springs

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - A 37-year-old man, whose crying mother told 7News suffered from deafness, was killed after a road rage incident escalated in Coral Springs.

The victim, who was identified as Paul Peterman, may not have understood the situation due to his hearing impairment. “He was a great kid,” said his mother Bernadette Peterman in tears. “He loved everybody. He was deaf, and he made a name for himself in the world. He was an Eagle Scout. This is just senseless. He was an amazing son.”

According to police, Peterman and another male driver had a dispute that began miles away in Margate and ended at an intersection along West Atlantic Boulevard and Riverside Drive, Thursday morning, in Coral Springs.

The victim’s mother said that he was on his way to work when the incident occurred.

Dawn Zamot, the victim’s sister, said, “He was happy. He worked with lighting, and that was his love. He was just, he was a happy guy, you know? I don’t understand.”

Peterman allegedly exited his vehicle, but officials have not said whether the other man also got out of his vehicle at the time. “Our communications received a call about a subject that was lying down, possibly unresponsive in the roadway,” said Coral Springs Police Sgt. Carla Kmiotek.

Police have identified the other driver as 37-year-old Joshua Tullis.

Peterman ended up with serious injuries and was discovered by police unresponsive in the roadway. He was then rushed to Broward Health North, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“We didn’t hear about it until he was airlifted. There was nobody with him. It was just him. None of us knew what had happened,” Zamot said. “He’s just a big part of our family and a lot of our lives. My job as an interpreter is because of him, because he’s deaf and we’re very close. He taught me sign language.”

Officials said Peterman did not appear to have gunshot or stab wounds. His cause of death remains under investigation. “I just know he’s in heaven with God, and we just have to grieve,” his mother said.

The other man involved, who was driving a dark-colored pickup truck, fled the scene. “We never want anyone to confront or engage with somebody who has confronted them in a road rage situation,” said Kmiotek.

The investigation remains ongoing.

If you have any information on this fatal road rage incident, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS or Coral Springs police at (954) 344-1800. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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