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Three remain hospitalized in critical condition following weekend crash

By Staff | Apr 12, 2016

Three people were taken to the hospital over the weekend following a two-vehicle accident.

Cape Coral police reported that Michael John Getts, 35, of North Fort Myers, was driving a Kia east on Northeast Pine Island Road in the outside lane Sunday. At 11:12 p.m., Getts changed lanes abruptly in the 2400 block and hit a Chevrolet van in the inside lane that was going east

The left front of the Kia struck the passenger side of the Chevy, which was being driven by Francis George Paulette III, 19, of North Fort Myers. The vehicles were redirected and drove off the road.

The Kia entered then exited a ditch, where the driver’s front side struck a tree and it came to a final stop. The Chevy began to roll over and entered the ditch, where it came to final stop on its roof.

According to police, a witness was able to stop and remove Paulette and the sole passenger in the Kia from those vehicles, but Getts was pinned inside his. Both vehicles then caught on fire separately.

The Cape Coral Fire Department arrived on scene and the crews were able to extricate Getts.

All three involved were trauma-alerted to the Cape Coral Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

As of Tuesday, Getts and his only passenger, Lonnie William Retherford, 36, of Lake Wales, Fla., were listed in critical at the hospital. Paulette was also in critical condition at the facility on Tuesday.

Police reported that the accident is alcohol or drug related.

“A criminal investigation is being conducted,” Sgt. Dana Coston, CCPD spokesman, said.