Truck driver’s wife: ‘My heart is broken’

Robert D. Drewelus , front right, is pictured with his wife and family at the couple's May 2015 wedding. Photo via Facebook/family.

Elsie Nieves is trying to make sense of her husband’s death – not even 24 hours after the crash that claimed his life. “Inside, my heart is broken,” Nieves said as she tried to hold back tears.

READ MORE: Teen charged with leaving scene of fiery crash that killed truck driver

Married for less than a year, her husband, Robert Drewelus, was killed early Tuesday morning on I-75 south in Sarasota on a routine run from Tampa to Fort Myers. He was driving a truck filled with 8,500 gallons of fuel.

Robert D. Drewelus is pictured with his wife at their May 2015 wedding. Photo via Facbeook/family.
Robert D. Drewelus is pictured with his wife at their May 2015 wedding. Photo via Facbeook/family.

“To me, it’s like a nightmare and I just hope to wake up from this bad dream,” Nieves cried. “My husband is gone, and I can’t believe it.”

Troopers say Drewelus rear-ended a car driven by a 16-year-old boy. That car was later found close to the accident scene in nearby Lakewood Ranch.

Troopers arrested the teen for leaving the scene of the accident.

“Don’t make a bad situation worse,” warned Lt. Greg Bueno of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Because as soon as you leave that scene, you are now making a criminal act, and you’re making that whole situation a lot worse than it needs to be.”

The teen wasn’t even supposed to be behind the wheel. He had a learner’s permit and it was 3 a.m.

Nieves wants him to know how hard this is for her. “I gotta go on with my life without him and it’s not going to be an easy task,” she said, thinking about a future that is now a reality.

The couple had planned to have dinner and a movie tonight. Nieves said the thought of losing the love of her life has begun to sink in.

“And not being able to say goodbye to him even hurts me even more,” she said, wishing she could talk to him just one more time.

Sadly, Drewelus started his shift early Monday night because he wanted to spend extra time with his wife.

Nieves said her husband loved his job, even though they both knew it was a very dangerous one. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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