On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at 11:32 p.m., Communications Operators with the Lee County Sheriff's Office received a call about a single-vehicle crash. The incident occurred near the intersection of Schoolside Drive and East 3rd Street in Lehigh Acres, Florida. Deputies responded to the scene to find a tan colored, 2000, Dodge Caravan rolled over on its side. Two occupants of the vehicle were found, one, the driver, was deceased.
Due to the nature of the incident, a Traffic Homicide Investigator with the Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit was assigned to continue looking into the circumstances of the crash. Meanwhile, the female passenger, identified as Brandy M. James of Lehigh Acres, age 29 (d.o.b. 5-17-84) was able to crawl out of the overturned vehicle. She was transported to the hospital for medical treatment. The driver of the vehicle is identified as 43 year old (d.o.b. 7-14-70) Jody Gaylon Tome of 1115 Westminster Street, Lehigh Acres, Florida
Preliminary details of the crash indicate Tome was southbound on East 3rd Street and attempted to negotiate the sweeping left-hand curve to begin heading east. The speed at which he was traveling caused the vehicle to leave the pavement and strike a sign on the side of the road. Then, the van catapulted back onto the roadway across all lanes of travel before colliding with a rock barrier on the opposite side of the street. The van went airborne and pitched to the extent the driver became partially ejected as a result of not wearing his seatbelt. As the vehicle fell to the ground, the driver's head impacted the asphalt causing what is believed to be the fatal injury. The van continued in motion, struck a utility pole, and came to a final stop on its side.
It appears alcohol and the excessive speed are contributing factors in the crash. The investigation continues.
Media inquiries are directed to the Public Information Office at (239) 477-1340.