Officials await blood test results in fatal accident
Cape Coral police are awaiting the results of a blood test to determine if a driver involved in a fatal traffic accident Monday morning was impaired.
Brian G. Ross, 52, of 842 S.W. 47th St., was driving a 2007 Toyota pickup truck south on Skyline Boulevard at about 6:30 a.m. when he drove into the back of a Waste Management trash collection truck in the 4100 block. The garbage truck was stopped on the side of the road, according to officials.
At the time, two employees from Waste Management were at the back of the truck loading garbage. Lawrence Davis, 53, of Fort Myers, was standing to the left rear side of the truck when the collision occurred. He was forced under the garbage truck and suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Davis was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he died at 9:47 a.m. The other employee, Andres Soto, 42, of Lehigh Acres was not hit by the Toyota in the crash.
Ross suffered minor injuries but he refused medical treatment.
According to a police report, Ross consented to having blood drawn at 7:30 a.m. and was taken to the Cape Coral Hospital. The investigation continues.
Connie Barron, spokeswoman for the Cape police, explained that there are two instances in which an officer will test a driver’s blood after an accident.
“Per statute, the police officer would have to have reasonable suspicion to believe there is impairment or obtain voluntary consent from the subject,” she said. “In this case on Monday, the driver of the other vehicle consented. That does not necessarily mean our officers had a reasonable suspicion.”
Barron would not comment on whether officers believe drugs or alcohol may have been involved in the crash. She added it usually takes eight to 12 weeks before the test results will be available. Charges could be filed at that time.
“It may determine what, if any, charges are filed,” Barron said.
A telephone message left for Ross was not returned Wednesday.
Dawn McCormick, community affairs manager for Waste Management of South Florida, said Davis was a temporary employee who had worked for the company for several years. He was hired through Labor Finder and worked as an assistant on a rear load residential truck.
“It’s a terrible tragedy and we’ve sent our heartfelt condolences to Davis’ family,” she said. “He was a valued member of our team and was just putting in a hard day’s work when this tragic accident happened.”
A telephone message left for Labor Finders was not returned Wednesday.
According to the police report, the Waste Management truck was properly stopped in the outside southbound lane. Witnesses told police that Ross was traveling in the inside lane as he approached the back of the truck, but then changed lanes into the outside lane, not seeing the stopped garbage truck.
The report does not state how fast Ross was driving at the time of the crash, but it states that the weather was clear, the road was dry and the road and the Toyota had no defects. The speed limit on Skyline is 45 mph.
“Both workers were in reflective gear, and all of the safety lights and strobe lights were turned on in the truck,” McCormick said. “They (the two workers) were in compliance with all safety regulations.”
Soto was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Davis is the city’s third traffic fatality of 2010.
Keith W. Radke, 39, died Feb. 6 after he lost control of a 2005 Harley Davidson at Averill Boulevard and Del Prado Boulevard North and crashed. Pamela A. Fillak, 61, died Feb. 2 when the car she was driving was struck on the driver’s side by a pickup truck at Chiquita Boulevard and Kismet Parkway.