On May 16, 2016, a truck driver was driving a tractor-trailer northbound on Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, when traffic ahead of him began to slow. He failed to slow down and crashed into the back of a Lincoln Town Car. The impact started a chain reaction crash involving a total of seven vehicles.
The Town Car burst into flames and the back seat passenger, Kristin Lee, 38, was fatally injured. The driver, James Cwanek, 70, and front seat passenger, Austin Perkins, were transported to Tampa Regional Hospital for treatment of critical injuries.
The driver of the vehicle in front of the Town Car, Brian Crump, 27, and his passenger, Nadine Saint-Vil, 25, were transported to Health Park Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
The next vehicle driven by Robert Ingalls, 84 was also injured. He was also transported to Health Park with serious injuries.
The truck driver suffered minor injuries. The crash is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Charges are pending the completion of the investigation.=
Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.