Lee County deputy found at fault

Lee County Deputy found at fault in crash that killed Cape Coral teenA Lee County deputy was found at fault in a crash that killed a 15-year-old Cape Coral boy in August. The results of a nearly two-month investigation by Cape Coral police into the crash were released recently.

There were several factors that led to the crash that killed Austin Dukette on Aug. 22, 2014, on Kismet Parkway in Cape Coral. Dukette was riding his bike to school early in the morning. According to the Cape police report, there were environmental factors, Dukette was wearing dark clothing, and there was no light on the bicycle. Deputy Doug Hood was on his computer around the time of the crash, and the computer was one of the factors in the crash. Hood was cited for careless driving.

Watch the video report from WINK news.

“Everything that could go wrong that morning did go wrong and a young life was lost. I don’t have the words to express the level of my sympathy and regret,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott told WINK.

Scott said Hood was on his computer around the time of the crash but he is not sure if he was on the computer at the time of the crash.

Read our previous post when the accident happened.

It is unfortunate that so many factors were at play to create such a terrible accident. A casual ride to school turned tragic. It’s hard to know that if any one factor were different, would it have changed the outcome.

To help reduce the chance of a fatal accident, it’s important for drivers to not get distracted by anything in their car — computer, radio, cell phone, etc. Distracted driving is a common cause of crashes. It’s also important that cyclists do everything they can to be seen, including wearing light colored clothing, making sure there are lights on the bike and any other safety measures they can take.

Witnesses to the accident had also said there were no sidewalks or bicycle lanes in the area. Some community members attended the next Cape Coral City Council meeting to discuss their concerns about the lack of sidewalks and general bicycle and pedestrian safety in the area.

At Bernardo Injury Law, we have dealt with many cases involving bicyclists. If we can help you, contact us at (239) 332-3000 or toll free at 888-428-8943, email us at gethelp@injuryinfo.org. You can learn more bicycle accidents on our website at injuryinfo.org.