Crash victim identified
Cape Coral police have released the name of the teen who was fatally injured when the car he was driving crashed into the toll plaza at the Midpoint Bridge late Saturday afternoon and burst into flames.
Codie A. Vieira, 18, 784 Sunset Vista Drive, Fort Myers is Cape Coral’s third traffic fatality this year.
Cape Coral 9-1-1 operators received reports of a reckless driver “fish-tailing” while eastbound on Veterans Parkway heading toward the Midpoint Toll Plaza at 4:38 p.m., officials said.
The 2007 Ford Mustang convertible Vieira was driving was approaching the unmanned side of the toll facility when a 9-1-1 caller stated that the vehicle had just crashed into the cement barricades separating the lanes and was on fire.
The convertible had entered the toll plaza and struck the entry cement barrier with the front right side of his vehicle. The Mustang bounced off the barrier while still moving eastbound through the toll facility. The front left corner of the car then struck a cement/metal pole in the raised median, snapping the pole at the base and rotating the vehicle counter-clockwise. The Mustang continued to slide eastbound and then flipped onto the right passenger side, striking the last cement barricade at the east end of the toll facility.
The force of slamming into the cement barrier was great enough to separate the engine from the car and rip the transmission from the bottom of the vehicle. The complete engine catapulted from the vehicle and landed about 50 feet east of the final resting spot of the car, wrapped around the cement barricade. The car became engulfed in flames, causing severe burn injuries to Vieira. Police, fire and EMS arrived and extinguished the fire and then began emergency treatment to extricate the 18-year-old driver from the burning vehicle.
Vieira was transported by ambulance to Lee Memorial Hospital with severe burns and a head injury. Vieira was pronounced dead upon arrival.
The eastbound lanes of the Midpoint Bridge were closed for nearly five hours after the accident.
It is unknown at this time if the driver was impaired at the time of the crash, officials said. A traffic homicide investigation is being conducted.
The owner of the car has been identified as Thomas B. Olson, also of 784 Sunset Vista Drive.
Source: Cape Coral Police Department