Growing Number of Fort Myers Traffic Deaths Frustrates Safety Advocates

Lee County had a record number of traffic deaths in 2007. It was the height of the housing bubble burst, and the county’s population had ballooned rapidly. There were a host of construction vehicles, trucks and an influx of new residents. There were 106 people who died on our roads that year. highway5

But then the recession hit, the price of gasoline spiked and fewer people were driving. There was also an exodus of residents and commercial vehicles weren’t seen as frequently.

Now, we’re back on the upswing financially. But that’s apparently not all good news, as The News-Press recently reported. As of June 30, county officials tallied 52 roadway deaths. The year is only half-over, which means at this rate, we are going to either meet or surpass the number of traffic accident deaths that occurred here in 2007.

Although there are a host of factors that can help explain why there is an increase, the simplest answer, safety advocates say, is preventable negligence.

Jay Anderson, who is the executive director of Stay Alive… Just Drive! in Fort Myers notes that of the four deaths that occurred over the course of a single weekend recently:

  • Two decedents were not wearing seat belt
  • One driver ran a stop signs
  • Two motorcyclists died in separate crashes while reportedly operating their bikes too fast for conditions

Anderson said that while these cases are still under investigation and weather conditions do play a role, most of it comes down to poor choices. He said drivers in inclement weather have to adjust their speed and driving patterns to conditions. that could mean pulling over until the hazardous conditions subside.

A number of drivers continue to drive distracted and speed and don’t buckle up and don’t properly buckle up their children.

“Every single one of these fatalities is preventable” Anderson said.

In addition to those who died, several were injured, at least one of those critically.

In one of those crashes, two back seat passengers in a Volkswagon, ages 60 and 66, were killed when they were struck by a 39-year-old pickup truck driver in Lehigh Acres, who authorities say failed to yield the right-of-way. The driver of the Volkswagon was in critical condition and the 19-year-old front seat passenger in serious condition.

Then a 29-year-old motorcyclist was killed in Fort Myers on I-75 after speeding around a sharp curve. He lost control of his bike and crashed into a guardrail.

Less than an hour later, a 20-year-old motorcyclist died after she crashed her Suzuki on Imperial Parkway. Authorities say she was traveling at speeds between 100- and 120-mph when she slid off the shoulder and into a concrete wall.

Then, there was an out-of-town crash that killed a man from Fort Myers. According to officials in Columbia, S.C., the 78-year-old Fort Myers resident was involved in a traffic crash along I-77. He reportedly got out of his vehicle to assist those in the other vehicle, and instead walked directly into the path of an oncoming semi tractor-trailer. He died as a result of his injuries.

When a person is killed in a traffic accident as a result of negligence by another person or company, it’s imperative for those left behind to contact an experienced injury lawyer.

Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.

Additional Resources:

Lee County fatalities frustrate traffic authorities, June 29, 2015, By Michael Braun, The News-Press

More Blog Entries:

Ex parte Quality Carriers, Inc. – Two Dead After Truck Collides With Stalled Vehicle, July 1, 2015, Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Blog

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