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Man who crashed into Cape pool hall, killing one and injuring two others, sentenced to prison

By Staff | May 10, 2016

A driver who crashed into a Cape Coral pool hall, killing one person, has been sentenced.

William Henry Gulliver, 75, of 2230 Palm Ave., St. James City, was sentenced Monday for DUI manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury and DUI damage person property in last year’s accident that injured three people in total and resulted in the death of Ronald P. Gravel, 60, of 736 Coral Drive, Cape Coral.

Gulliver received seven years in prison, followed by three years of probation, and his driver’s license was suspended for life, officials reported. He must submit a sample of DNA and attend substance abuse counseling, as well as have ignition interlock devices put on all of the vehicles that he owns or leases.

The judge also ordered a $1,000 fine, court costs and $20,000 in restitution to the victims.

Defense attorney Thomas DeMine III represented Gulliver. He did not return a message Tuesday seeking comment on the sentencing.

Assistant State Attorney Martin Stark handled the case.

“The State Attorney’s Office worked hand and hand with me and the family/victims to bring this case to a successful conclusion,” Cpl. Andrew Satterlee, with the Cape Coral Police Department, stated.

Gravel sustained life-threatening injuries on July 20 at 4:56 p.m. when Gulliver drove his Ford F-250 through the front windows of Diamond Billiards Sportsbar & Grill, at 1242 S.W. Pine Island Road.

Gravel was trauma-alerted to Lee Memorial Hospital, but he later died.

Two other pool hall patrons were hospitalized with injuries due to the accident.

Tracy Marie Booker, 52, of 1245 N.W. 37th Ave., was taken to Lee Memorial, while Linda L. Girard, 59, also of 1245 N.W. 37th Ave., was taken to Cape Coral Hospital. Both were treated and released.

The truck was parked in the parking lot of Diamond Billiards, facing the building. According to officials, Gulliver entered the truck and after several minutes, drove forward at a high rate of speed. The truck drove through the front windows and the interior and struck the main bar area head-on.

At the time, Gravel, Booker and Girard were seated at the bar directly in the truck’s path.

Police reported that Gravel and Booker were trapped between the truck and bar.

Gulliver was uninjured, but was transported for observation.

According to the police report, hospital staff conducted a blood alcohol test on Gulliver. At the time, Gulliver registered a blood alcohol content of .402 – more than five times the state’s legal limit.

In September, Gulliver was picked up on a warrant for DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury and battery touch or strike, as well as three counts of DUI with damage to persons or property.

The State Attorney’s Office officially filed the charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI with serious bodily injury and two counts each of battery touch or strike and DUI damage person property.

Also in September, attorney Randall Spivey initiated a wrongful death lawsuit against Gulliver on behalf of Elizabeth Gravel, the widow of Gravel, for the “senseless and tragic crash he caused,” court records state. She was seeking compensatory and punitive damages, wage loss, medical and more.

Spivey did not return a message Tuesday seeking comment on the civil action.

The family of Gravel could not be reached for comment.