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Teen struck by vehicle near school improving

By Staff | Feb 2, 2013

A Cape Coral teen’s condition has improved after he was hospitalized more than two weeks ago after being struck by a vehicle outside of a school.

On Friday, Jonathan Cruz, 16, of 1626 N.E. 36th St., was listed in fair condition at Lee Memorial Hospital, where he was transported on Jan. 17.

At 6:51 a.m., Cruz attempted to cross the westbound lanes of De Navarra Parkway on foot outside of the entrance to Island Coast High School when he was hit by a Ford Ranger, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report.

Cruz sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the accident, including a head injury and broken bones. He was trauma-alerted to the hospital.

The driver of the truck, Derek James Hutchens, 17, of 1717 Magnolia Drive, North Fort Myers, was not injured in the crash, according to the report.

Deputies determined that Hutchens, who was on his way to school, was traveling between 21 mph and 24 mph when reportedly Cruz ran out in front of him. Hutchens hit the Ford’s brakes, but it did not stop in time, hitting Cruz.

Cruz’s mother, who was present during the accident, reported that she stopped in the median outside of the school where the cones are and turned on her hazard lights. Cruz exited the car and began to cross the street.

As she began to pull away, she realized that her son had been hit.

According to the report, Cruz is at fault in the accident for violating Hutchens’ right-of-way.