(April 11, 2016)-  A serious injury crash overnight has sent three people to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

At around 11:12 PM, Cape Coral Police responded to a serious injury crash in the 2400 block of NE Pine Island Rd., involving two vehicles.

Both vehicles left the roadway.  One striking a tree, and the other rolling-over, coming to rest on its roof.  Both vehicles caught fire in the crash.  A passer-by removed two of the vehicle occupants.  Cape Coral Fire Department responded and extricated the third.

All sustained life threatening injuries as a result of the crash and were trauma-alerted to a nearby hospital.

Cape Coral Police Major Crash Investigator, Forensics, and Victim Advocates responded to the scene.

Investigation revealed that the crash was alcohol/drug related.  Investigation is ongoing.

Preliminary synopsis of the Major Crash Investigator is below:

DATE: April 10, 2016
TIME: 11:12 PM
LOCATION: 2400 block NE Pine Island Road
CR#: 16-005869
ASSIGNED MCI: M/Cpl. A. Satterlee

VEHICLE 1: 2013 maroon Kia car.
DRIVER 1: Michael John Getts, 35, W/M, of North Fort Myers, Florida.
DRIVER 1 INJURIES: Getts suffered life threatening injuries.
PASSENGER 1: Lonnie William Retherford, 36, W/M, of Lake Wales, Florida.
PASSENGER 1 INJURIES: Retherford suffered life threatening injuries.

VEHICLE 2: 2005 white Chevrolet van.
DRIVER 2: Francis George Paulette III, 19, W/M, of North Fort Myers, Florida.
DRIVER 2 INJURIES: Paulette suffered life threatening injuries.

SYNOPSIS:  Vehicle 1 was traveling east on NE Pine Island Road in the outside lane in the 2300 block.  Vehicle 2 was traveling east on NE Pine Island Road in the inside lane in the 2300 block, slightly in front of Vehicle 2.

According to a witness, as the vehicles entered the 2400 block, Vehicle 1 changed lanes abruptly into the inside lane. The left front of Vehicle 1 struck the passenger side of Vehicle 2.  Both vehicles were redirected to the right (southeast) and drove off of the roadway.  Vehicle 1 drove into a ditch with the driver’s side leading.  Vehicle 1 was exiting the ditch when the driver’s front side struck a large tree and came to final rest.  Prior to leaving the roadway, Vehicle 2 began to roll over.  Vehicle 2 continued off the roadway and entered into the ditch where it came to final rest on its roof.

A witness was able to stop and remove the driver of Vehicle 2 and front passenger of Vehicle 1.  The driver of Vehicle 1 remained pinned inside of the vehicle.  Both vehicles then caught on fire (separately).  Cape Coral Fire Department arrived on scene and was able to extricate the driver of Vehicle 1.  All three involved suffered life threatening injuries and were trauma alerted to a local hospital by ambulance.

The driver of Vehicle 1 is listed in critical-stable condition in ICU.  The passenger of Vehicle 1 is life threatening-critical condition.  The driver of Vehicle 2 is in critical-stable condition in ICU.  MCI Satterlee, Forensics personnel, and a Victim Advocate responded.

This traffic crash IS alcohol/drug related.  The next-of-kin of all involved HAVE BEEN notified.  Based on all evidence, a criminal investigation is being conducted.  The eastbound lanes of the 2400 block of NE Pine Island Road were shut down for several hours to conduct the traffic crash investigation.

***There are 1 traffic fatalities and 8 MCI usages in our city in 2016. (There are 0 fatalities that are ruled "medical" and the cause of death is not related to injuries in the traffic crash. These 0 "medical" fatalities are not included in the number of traffic fatalities).***

Breakdown of the past 6 years FYI:

2016: 1 Traffic fatalities, 0 DUI related (8 MCI usages) (this number DOES NOT INCLUDE 0 medical ruled death)

2015: 13 Traffic fatalities, 9 DUI related (43 MCI usages) (this number DOES NOT INCLUDE 1 medical ruled death)

2014: 10 Traffic fatalities, 5 DUI related (40 MCI usages) (this number DOES NOT INCLUDE 2 medical ruled death)

2013: 19 Traffic fatalities, 6 DUI related (43 MCI usages) (this number DOES NOT INCLUDE 3 medical ruled deaths)

2012: 10 Traffic fatalities, 6 DUI related (21 MCI usages)

2011: 11 Traffic fatalities, 4 DUI related (24 MCI usages) (this number DOES NOT INCLUDE 2 medical and 1 suicide ruled deaths)

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341