Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Two Key Largo men die in single-car crash

KEY LARGO --Two local men were killed in a high-speed one-car crash near mile marker 97 Sunday morning.

Steven Roy DeAtley, 27, apparently lost control of his 2000 Honda at around 10:05 a.m. as he and a passenger were heading south "at a high rate of speed and for unknown reasons," according to the report by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Diego Rios.

Both DeAtley and James Michael Falconer, 33, died at the scene.

DeAtley had recently been hired as a bartender for Coconuts, said friend Michael Ball.

"Steven and I have been best friends for the past 15 years," Ball said. "I know it's a cliché but he was one of those guys who would give you the shirt off his back."

DeAtley was the drummer in the heavy metal band, "Washed in Blood," and had aspirations to make it big in the music industry, Ball said. His half-brother, Robert Qualls, also plays in the band.

"I was hanging with him at Coconuts [Saturday night] and I left at about 1 a.m. I thought Steven left shortly after I did," Ball said. "I had been calling him. His dad and girlfriend were worried because he hadn't been home all night."

Falconer's father, also named James Falconer, said his son was interested in becoming a writer.

"He wrote for the Coral Shores [High School] 'Hurricane' newspaper. I just found a new 'Writers Market 2010' book he must have bought recently," Falconer said. "He always wanted to be a journalist.

"He wore his heart on his sleeve. He would do anything for his friends. If he got a call in the middle of the night he would go drive a friend home. Jimmy has lived with me for the past 20 years. I never planned to bury my son. It should be the other way around."

Funeral arrangements were unknown at press time.

sgibbs@keysnews.com

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