LEE COUNTY, Fla. - On Sunday, October 3, 2010, at 7:39 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The caller told the 9-1-1 operator a man had fallen out of the bed of a pickup truck, suffering a head injury. Emergency responders, including deputies and the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit, responded to a remote area of Lehigh Acres near East 17th Street and Joel Boulevard. The injured man was transported to Lehigh Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Due to the nature of the incident, Traffic Homicide deputies with the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit were assigned to investigate.
The victim has been identified as 25 year old (dob 12-31-84) Thomas J. Phister of 507 Washington Avenue, Lehigh Acres, Florida. Preliminary investigation is consistent with witness accounts of Mr. Phister riding in the bed of a white, 1993 Dodge Ram pickup truck on a dirt road in the Greenbriar area. The truck, driven by 25 year old (dob 7-16-85) Ignacio Soto of Immokalee, hit a bump which ejected the victim from the bed and possibly under one of the tires of the dual-wheeled pickup.
An autopsy will be performed by the District 21 Medical Examiner. No charges have been filed at this time. Deputies are awaiting the results of toxicology and the investigation continues.