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CCPD announces charges in three traffic crashes

By Staff | May 31, 2013

In the span of a week, the Cape Coral Police Department made arrests in three 2012 unrelated traffic incidents, two of which were fatalities.

Lt. Tony Sizemore held a news conference Thursday to announce the arrests and answer questions on the crashes, all of which he said had alcohol as a contributing factor.

Madison Casey Schiel, 18, of Punta Gorda, was arrested on May 29 on a Cape Coral police warrant on a charge of DUI manslaughter in reference to an investigation of a two-car crash that happened on Oct. 10, 2012 in the 1200 block of Andalusia Blvd.

Gillion Crosdale, 63, who was driving the other car when the collision happened, was critically injured. Crosdale’s car was forced into a canal. She died nine days after the accident.

Schiel had a blood-alcohol content of .108 and marijuana in her system, according to the investigation.

The second arrest was made on May 23 when the State Attorney’s Office approved a warrant request for the arrest of Robert A. Culbertson III on a charge of reckless driving. His mother, Barbara Joan Culbertson, 82, died as a result of the crash, according to an investigation on the Aug. 1, 2012 incident.

Culbertson had a blood-alcohol level of .053 two hours after the crash, officials said.

The third warrant has been approved for Demi Pearson on a charge of reckless driving with severe bodily injury in connection to a traffic crash on July 15, 2012. The incident resulted in the death of a 12-week old fetus, officials said.

Pearson, who is currently incarcerated in Ocala on a burglary charge, will be transferred to Lee County upon arrest. Her blood-alcohol level was .068 about two hours after the crash, Sizemore said.

The legal limit at which a driver is concidered impaired is .08.

Sizemore said the fact that a death occured and a traffic homicide investigation ensued is the reason it took so long for the arrests to be made.

“The thing about traffic homicide investigations is the word homicide. A lot of people equate this with a traffic crash. They are not a typical crash. They are a death investigation,” Sizemore said. “These last longer. They are painstaking and there are loved ones depending on us to investigate this and ensure justice is done.”

Sizemore said Schiel could get a maximum 15 years in prison if convicted of DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

Colbertson and Pearson face up to five years on the reckless driving charges, Sizemore said.

Sizemore urged residents not drink and get behind the wheel.

“Don’t drink and drive. It’s an old poster you’ve seen, but there are real-world consequences,” Sizemore said.