Cape Coral, FLA -   The following is a news release from the Cape Coral Fire Department.   Two people were transported to area hospitals following a 2-vehicle collision this afternoon in south Cape Coral.

Firefighters from Ladder 1 and Rescue 1 under the Command of Battalion Chief Christopher Cox responded to the crash at Cape Coral Parkway and Triton Court just after 2:00 pm. When crews arrived they found two sport utility vehicles blocking the eastbound lanes, both with significant front end damage. One of the vehicles had a fire in the engine compartment which was quickly managed by firefighters.

Paramedics from Lee County EMS and CCFD personnel treated both drivers for serious injuries and spilled fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid and containers of bleach in one of the vehicles. Fortunately, neither driver was trapped and did not need the "Jaws of Life" to remove them from their vehicles. The crash is being investigated by the Cape Coral Police Department.

This crash follows on the heels of two fatal crashes in the last 24 hours, including a vehicle vs pedestrian crash in Port Charlotte and a major crash with multiple injuries and death at the Hendry / Lee County line earlier today.

In spite of Labor Day, traumatic injuries never take a holiday.  According to the National Safety Council, the average number of traffic fatalities during the six most recent Labor Day holiday periods was 12.6% higher than similar non-holiday periods (430 vs. 382 deaths). Studies have shown that seat belts, when used, are 45% effective in preventing fatalities among front-seat passenger car occupants.

To ensure a safe drive, Your Cape Coral Fire Department and the NSC recommend drivers:

    Establish and enforce a distraction-free zone, especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, global positioning systems and other in-vehicle technology
    Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their age and size
    Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
    Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
    Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi

For more information or follow-up on the fire service role in vehicle crashes and traffic safety, contact Captain Michael Heeder at 941-677-FIRE (3473).