COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Grand Lely Drive has reopened at Collier Blvd. after a crash with injuries involving a dump truck this morning. It happened in the intersection, in front of the entrances to the Verona Walk community and the entrance to Lely Resort.
The Florida Highway Patrol says three people are in serious condition, while a fourth person sustained minor injuries.
The dump truck driver, 53-year-old Steven Ames, has been cited for careless driving and unsafe equipment. Ames is listed in serious condition at Physicians Regional Medical Center.
The driver of a Dodge Caravan, 52-year-old Eliana Lulsdorf, and her passenger, 38-year-old Patricia Primo, are also both listed in serious condition at Physicians Regional Medical Center.
The driver of the third vehicle involved, 39-year-old Amy O'Brien in a Chevy Malibu, sustained only minor injuries and was treated at NCH.
FHP says Ames failed to stop in time to avoid hitting the other vehicles. His brakes were not functioning properly and the tires on the truck were worn. The truck overturned on its right side in the intersection, spilling its load of sand.
But this isn't the first time this trucking company has had problems with safety. The company, Zurla Trucking, is located in Ft. Myers. According to a press release from OSHA, an employee named Jorge Fabregas was let go in February 2008, because he refused to drive trucks he thought were not safe. More than two years later on October 5, 2010, OSHA ordered Zurla Trucking to "Reinstate a truck driver discharged for calling attention to safety issues." Zurla Trucking was told to pay back wages, interest, and damages, including $125,000 in punitive damages. But the company wouldn't rehire Fabregas, so the Labor Department sued. That suit was later dropped because Fabregas eventually decided he didn't want to work for Zurla anymore.
We tried reaching out to the trucking company, but the numbers were out of service.