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Three children injured in crash treated and released

By Staff | Jan 17, 2013

A Cape Coral woman who reportedly drove head-on into a tree Sunday, injuring herself and six children, is under investigation by a state agency.

The Department of Children and Families reported Thursday that it had opened an investigation Jan. 10 on Mary E. Jones, 35 – prior to the crash.

“We do have an open investigation,” Terri Durdaller, a DCF spokeswoman, said.

“We had an open investigation prior to the report of the accident,” Terry Field, a DCF spokesman, added.

The agency did receive an additional report following the crash on Sunday.

“We will include these new allegations in the original investigation – as opposed to having a separate investigation,” he said.

DCF could not release any further information on its investigation.

At about 6:05 p.m., Jones, of 1127 S.W. 18th St., was driving a 2007 Hyundai Entourage southbound on Nott Road at an estimated speed of 45 mph, according to a police report. The speed limit is posted at 25 mph.

In the 800 block of Nott, Jones reportedly veered left off of the road into a ditch. The Hyundai then sideswiped a tree, causing crushing damage to the driver’s side, and continued southbound, before colliding head-on into a tree.

Jones sustained minor injuries in the accident and was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital. As of Thursday, she had been treated and released.

Six children were riding in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to police, three children sustained life-threatening injuries and were trauma-alerted to the hospital. The others were also transported.

As of Thursday, Timothy A. Ball Jr., 2, of 222 S.E. Fourth Place, Morgan Freeman, 10, and Trinity E. Freeman, 10, both of 1127 S.W. 18th St., had been treated and released, according to officials with the health system.

Riely Freeman, 7, of 1127 S.W. 18th St., Bridget Watkins, 9, and Taylor Watkins, 5, both of 8416 Nault Drive, North Fort Myers, were reportedly not listed in the Lee Memorial Health System patient directory on Thursday.

Their conditions could not be obtained.

Police noted that the accident appeared to be alcohol or drug related.

According to the report, Jones provided a sample of blood.

The results of the alcohol and drug tests are pending.

DCF reported Thursday that children were still living with Jones.

“The children have not been removed from the home, but our investigation is still ongoing,” Durdaller said.

“Typically, an investigation lasts about 60 days,” she added.

Jones could not be reached for comment Thursday.