FORT MYERS, Fla. - An elderly couple is dead after colliding with a Lee County Sheriff's deputy who was responding to a 911 call. In the span of just a few weeks, four people have been killed in car crashes all involving law enforcement or first responders.
Sunday morniing, the collision killed a husband and wife who have been visiting Florida from Ohio for nearly 25 years.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, 84-year old John Steffen turned left onto Palm Beach Boulevard and into the path of two patrol cars, hitting one of them. The collison killed Steffen and his 77-year old wife, Marilyn Steffen. FHP says the emergency lights were on. Witnesses say the sirens were not.
"It happened, in a snap, in the snap of the finger just bam," said witness Robert Walker. This crash is the third accident involving law enforcement or first responders in just the past few weeks.
"It's a sad sad event. We're all gonna miss them a lot in the park," said friend Betty Morin.
On February 26th, Lee County EMS ran a stop sign and hit an SUV at the intersection of Veronica Shoemaker and Canal Street while transporting a patient to the Gulf Coast Hospital.
Six people were injured and an unborn baby died. The case is currently under investigation.
Wink News spoke with a local business owner who did not want to appear on camera but said, "I seen the police officers go through it numerous times, they do what I call a rolling stop, they go on through it. I seen ambulances do it too."
And on February 15th a Florida Highway Patrol trooper hit a car on I-75, injuring three and killing an unborn baby.
FHP says trooper Gustavo Reyes was distracted by something and driving in a careless or negligent manner.
Reyes has been put on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.Neighbors say they are planning a memorial to remember the Steffens. The crash is under investigation.