CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A pedestrian who was exiting from the driver's side of a van was killed last Thursday morning after the van rolled down the driveway, across the roadway and between two palm trees. Corliss McCarson Rhodes (DOB: 07/25/1946) died from injuries suffered when she was pinned between the door and the tree.
At 12:52 a.m. on September 23, Cape Police responded to a 911 call reporting an accident at 244 SE 45th Street. According to the initial investigation, a 1984 GMC van driven by Rhodes had pulled into the driveway at 245 SE 45th Street to drop off Ruth Newman (DOB: 01/17/1953), a passenger in the vehicle. While Newman was being dropped off, an argument and altercation was occurring between the occupants, including Angela Nicole Nesta (DOB: 07/09/1984), who was seated in the right, rear seat. Rhodes put the vehicle into "reverse" rather than park, and attempted to exit the vehicle when it began to roll backwards. Nesta jumped into the driver's seat to attempt to stop the vehicle; however, Newman began pushing Nesta causing her foot to slip off the brake and hit the accelerator instead.
The vehicle backed out of the driveway, across the street and into the front lawn at 244 SE 45th Street. Rhodes held on to the driver's side door and was dragged across the street. The van drove between two palm trees, pinning Rhodes between the driver's side door and the tree. The Medical Examiner responded to the scene, where Rhodes died from her injuries. Newman and Nesta were not injured.
A traffic homicide investigation is being conducted.