FORT MYERS, Fla. - According to a report released Friday from the Florida Highway Patrol a child playing with a cell phone indirectly led to the death of a Fort Myers couple in a March. The crash involved a Lee County Deputy.
Our partners at the News Press report the child was using a cell phone that no longer had a contract and the parents did not realize it could still call 911.
Deputy Robert Torres with the Lee County Sheriff's Office was driving on Palm Beach Blvd responding to the call. John and Marilyn Steffen were stopped at the intersection of Palm Beach Blvd and Mississippi Ave. The report says John Steffen pulled out in front of Deputy Torres' cruiser. John Steffen died at the scene. His wife died at Lee Memorial Hospital.
Friday, we learned Deputy Torres and another deputy were responding to a child's call for help. Problem is, there was no emergency.
The 5-year-old boy asked a dispatcher for "a cop and a fire truck," verified his Buckingham address and hung up.
The report says he called 911 three more times but did not make voice contact. While en route, the dispatcher told a responding deputy that a 911 call had been received from that same address 3 months prior in reference to domestic violence.
The child's mother told investigators he was playing with an old cell phone that no longer had a contract. What she didn't know is even phones without contracts or locked phones can still dial 911. The State Attorney's Office does not plan to file any charges against the child's parents.