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Four gravely injured in Beach crash

November 18, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

A Sunday night vehicle crash involving a driver and three passengers on Fort Myers Beach yielded three life threatening injuries and one non-life threatening injury.

On Sunday, at 3:58 a.m., Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies and Fort Myers Beach Fire and Rescue fire fighters responded to a 9-1-1 call at 6025 Estero Blvd. and found a single vehicle had crashed at a high rate of speed into a concrete wall and trees at the entrance to the Church of the Ascension Catholic Church.

The driver and two passengers were trapped in a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe and a fourth occupant had been pulled out by a passerby who was delivering newspapers. Life-saving efforts began immediately, but the impact of the crash made it difficult to extricate the individuals inside. In fact, one passenger was trapped for about an hour.

Article Photos

The 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe after the crash and fire.

The occupants of the vehicle were identified as driver James Lepore, age 23, of Cape Coral, who sustained life threatening injuries (airlifted to the Burn Unit of Tampa General Hospital); front seat passenger Francis Gannon, age 15, of Cape Coral, who sustained life threatening injuries (airlifted to the Burn Unit of Tampa General Hospital); rear seat passenger Asia Tannasse, age 17, of Cape Coral, who remains hospitalized with life threatening injuries; and rear seat passenger/driver's side Brooke Bosley, age 16, of Cape Coral, who was pulled from the vehicle and remains hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

During the rescue, a portion of Estero Boulevard was closed to thru traffic for four hours.

Preliminary investigation confirms the vehicle was traveling north on Estero Boulevard near the 6000 block at a high rate of speed. Further analysis will be conducted to determine actual speed, however, it can be said the driver was unable to turn through the left-hand curve at the rate of travel. The vehicle exited the roadway to the northeast, struck a road sign, sideswiped a concrete wall and struck a second concrete wall head-on. The momentum carried the Hyundai through the concrete wall before striking a tree on the right front corner panel. The impact with the tree resulted in a counterclockwise rotation of the vehicle. At final rest, the front of the car was facing southwest.

The vehicle burst into flames most likely when it collided with the concrete wall. In addition to the excessive speed of the vehicle, alcohol is believed to be a factor. The investigation continues.

SOURCE: Lee County Sheriff's Office



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