Police: Father did not attempt to save 2 sons in deadly canal crash

Investigators say a father did not attempt to save his two sons after he crashed into a canal while driving drunk.

Cape Coral Police Department arrested Kenneth Lawson, 29, for DUI manslaughter recently for the crash that killed his two sons, 10-year-old John Wayne and 7-year-old Titus. He also faces two counts for driving with a suspended license when operating a motor vehicle that causes death or serious injury.

Brothers John Wayne and Titus. Credit: via WINK News.

Julia Drudy, 31, was in the passenger seat during the crash, but the vehicle belonged to her, so police arrested her for permitting an unauthorized operator to drive. She told police she wanted to turn herself in after CCPD announced the arrest of Lawson during a press conference.

According to the CCPD report, Lawson and Drudy spent most of the evening of the crash drinking together with Lawson’s children also present.

Police say both Lawson and Drudy were drunk, and Lawson’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Lawson initially denied he was driving when the car went into the canal.

Crash investigators say the car went airborne and landed 78 feet from the shore, and Lawson was driving at that time. According to the report, forensics prove Lawson was behind the wheel during the crash based on his injuries and evidence found in the car.

Both Lawson and Drudy told detectives several stories including being carjacked, robbed and being chased by another car that crashed into their own and forcing them into the canal.

Prior to the crash, Lawson, Drudy, John Wayne and Titus were reportedly spending time searching canals for alligators.

Detectives say Lawson and Drudy both escaped the car by kicking out the front window and say Lawson never indicated to police he tried to save his two boys.

Drudy admitted to detectives she knew Lawson did not have a license to drive, had a lot to drink and still allowed him to drive.

Lawson told the court in writing he is not guilty.

Both Lawson and Drudy remain in Lee County Jail because neither of the two have been able to post bond.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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