From the Sun Sentinal
Deputies say a Loxahatchee Groves man was half-naked and speeding while drunk and stoned with his half-naked wife on his lap when the car he was driving launched over a canal, crashing into the far side.
The impact caused serious injuries to Matthew P. Notebaert, 30, but it killed his 31-year-old wife, Amanda, on March 9.
Notebaert made his first appearance in court on a host of charges Thursday morning. With Notebaert appearing to wipe away tears, a judge set bond at $50,000. The Notebaerts have two children, a 9-year-old boy and 7-month-old daughter, his attorney told the judge.
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, Notebaert was driving east on Stallion Drive at 55 mph at 12:30 a.m. The dead-end dirt road has a speed limit of 30 mph and ends at a canal. Investigators determined the car steered slightly to the right before launching over the canal, but there was no braking.
The car was airborne for 30 feet, crashing into the far bank of the canal. Neither of the Notebaerts were wearing seatbelts and both were naked from the waist down, according to the affidavit. Amanda Notebaert’s head hit the dashboard and windshield, while Matthew Notebaert’s knees were crushed by the lower part of the dashboard. She died at the scene.
An investigator at the hospital reported that Notebaert smelled strongly of alcohol and was vomiting. The investigator overheard Notebaert telling someone on a phone call that he “was not paying attention and drove down the wrong road and they wound up in a canal and killed his wife.”
A search of the crashed vehicle turned up a flask with a whisky-like liquid inside. Toxicology results showed Notebaert had a blood-alcohol level of .135 to .163 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent. Results also returned a high level of active and metabolized THC, the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana.
Notebaert was jailed Wednesday on charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and DUI property damage.