(October 24, 2017) - Yesterday on October 23, 2017 at approximately 1:40 p.m. the Cape Coral Police Department responded to a call of a car in a canal. The Major Crash Investigator's synopsis is below:

DATE:   October 23, 2017
TIME:   1:41 pm
LOCATION:   Intersection of Chiquita Boulevard and Savona Parkway
CR#:   17-019123
ASSIGNED MCI:   M/Cpl. A. Satterlee

VEHICLE 1:   2004 Hyundai 4 door car, Florida tag.
DRIVER 1:   Dolores Louise Zearfaus, 3-25-50, W/F, 222 SW 24th Place, Cape Coral, Florida 33991.
DRIVER 1 INJURIES:   Zearfaus suffered life threatening injuries.

VEHICLE 2:   2017 Kia SUV, Florida tag.
DRIVER 2:   17 year old W/F, of Cape Coral, Florida.
DRIVER 2 INJURIES:   Driver 2 did not suffer injuries.
PASSENGER:   16 year old W/F, of Cape Coral, Florida.
PASSENGER INJURIES:   Passenger did not suffer injuries.

SYNOPSIS:

Vehicle 2 was stopped on Savona Parkway facing East at the intersection of Chiquita Boulevard.  Vehicle 1 was traveling East on Savona Parkway approaching the rear of Vehicle 2.  Vehicle 1 did not stop and struck the left rear of Vehicle 2 at slow speed.  Vehicle 1 continued forward down the driver’s side of Vehicle 2 and into the intersection.  The driver of Vehicle 1 was observed slumped forward over her steering wheel as she continued into the intersection.  Vehicle 1 drove through the intersection and off the roadway to the East into a vacant lot.  Vehicle 1 drove through two vacant lots and drove across SW 15th Place.  Vehicle 1 entered into the front yard of a home at the 3600 block of SW 15th Place where the vehicle struck a water utility pipe.  Vehicle 1 continued East through another vacant lot and off the edge of a canal embankment.  Vehicle 1 then entered into a canal with the driver still inside.

Several witnesses of the crash and subsequent canal entrance (3 witnesses), jumped into the canal and attempted to extricate the sole occupant (female driver).  Cape Coral Fire Department arrived on scene and assisted with removing the driver to a nearby dock.  CPR was started and the driver of Vehicle 1 was trauma alerted to a local hospital by ambulance with life threatening injuries.  There were no signs or reports of injuries from occupants in Vehicle 2.

Preliminary information appears that the driver of Vehicle 1 may have been having a medical episode/emergency at the time of the traffic crash.  Due to injuries, MCI officers Satterlee and C. Mills responded.  Department Victim Advocates and Forensics personnel also assisted.  The driver of Vehicle 1 is listed in critical condition at a local hospital.

This traffic crash IS NOT alcohol/drug related.  The next-of-kin HAS BEEN notified.  Due to injuries, a major crash investigation is being conducted.

***There are 14 traffic fatalities and 34 MCI usages in our city in 2017. (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 several years fyi......

2017: 14 Traffic fatalities, 6 DUI related (34 MCI usages) (this number DOES NOT INCLUDE 0 medical ruled death)

2016: 11 Traffic fatalities, 4 DUI related (35 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