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FHP seeks ‘official’ charges in crash

By Staff | Jan 4, 2012

Authorities have asked the state to file DUI charges against a man after a crash last year sent three to the hospital, including a Cape Coral man.

The Florida Highway Patrol filed charges with the State Attorney’s Office last week against Thomas Pruitt Brooks, 21, of North Fort Myers, following an investigation into a Nov. 8 traffic accident on Hancock Bridge Parkway.

The crash investigator requested that Brooks officially be charged for DUI, DUI with property damage, DUI with serious bodily injury and careless driving.

“It will be up to the SAO (State Attorney’s Office) to reference which charges are approved for prosecution,” FHP spokesman Lt. Greg Bueno reported via an e-mail.

Officials at the State Attorney’s Office could not confirm Wednesday whether a review of the case was under way, as per department policy.

On Nov. 8, Brooks was traveling eastbound on Hancock in a Jeep when he tried to pass another vehicle headed eastbound and lost control. The Jeep veered back onto the road and into the median, according to a FHP report.

Brooks reportedly veered back to the right, and the Jeep traveled across both eastbound lanes and onto the shoulder. Brooks overcorrected back to the right, and the Jeep again crossed the median, into the path of a Buick.

The Buick, driven by Jean Elizabeth Oberg, 73, of North Fort Myers, was traveling westbound on Hancock when the front of it collided into the right side of the Jeep. Max C. Lopez, 18, of Cape Coral, was riding in the Jeep.

Lopez sustained critical injuries in the crash, while Brooks and Oberg had minor injuries. All three were taken to the hospital, then later released.

Neither Brooks nor Lopez were wearing seat belts, according to the report.

Authorities were awaiting test results on whether Brooks was impaired.