Lady of America Founder Involved in Fatal, Alcohol-Related Crash

Investigators determined alcohol and speed were factors in last Wednesday39s crash in Delray Beach Florida that killed an 82yearold Uber driver and left Lady of America founder Roger Wittenberns in critical condition Photo by Thinkstock
<p>Investigators determined alcohol and speed were factors in last Wednesday&#39;s crash in Delray Beach, Florida, that killed an 82-year-old Uber driver and left Lady of America founder Roger Wittenberns in critical condition. (Photo by Thinkstock.)</p>

Lady of America founder Roger Wittenberns crashed his Lamborghini Murciélago into an oncoming Buick Enclave Wednesday afternoon in Delray Beach, Florida, killing the SUV’s 82-year-old driver, according to the Delray Beach Police Department. Wittenberns, 60, remains in critical condition at Delray Medical Center.

Investigators determined alcohol and speed were factors in the crash, according to a police statement provided to Club Industry. No charges have been filed, as the investigation is ongoing, said police spokeswoman Dani Moschella.

Wittenberns and girlfriend Patty Ann McQuiggin, 61, had been eating and drinking downtown before  speeding north on Northeast 6th Avenue in matching yellow sports cars, according to the police department statement. Wittenberns collided at approximately 4:36 p.m. with the front driver’s side of J. Gerald Smith’s SUV. Smith, a retired real estate agent-turned-Uber driver, was crossing the Northeast 1st Street intersection at the time of the crash—a spot on which 30 accidents have occurred since June 2011, according to the Sun Sentinel. Smith was pronounced dead after being transported to Delray Medical Center.

McQuiggin fled the scene in her Porsche, abandoning the car in a parking lot near the crash site, police said. She refused to provide a statement when officers found her at the Vista Del Mar home she shares with Wittenberns. Wittenberns was later interviewed by police and confirmed that he and McQuiggin had been drinking. He has prior DUI arrests on his record, according to a report by CBS12.

Wittenberns is best known for founding the women-only Lady of America health club chain, of which he was president and CEO for 21 years. He is currently CEO of Diversified Health & Fitness, which was founded in 2007 and owns franchised club brands American Body Works, Zoo Health Clubs and Access Fitness, among others.

Wittenberns’ lifestyle as a business investor and car collector was detailed in an October 2008 Club Industry feature.

Smith’s family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to aid with funeral costs. His wife Eloise is “not in good health and is not able to work,” according to the page. As of the afternoon of Sept. 26, the campaign had received $7,360 in donations toward its $10,000 goal.

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