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State Route 31 reopens after accident investigation

By Staff | Sep 3, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED The van involved in the accident on State Road 31 Wednesday evening.

State Road 31 near the Wilson Pigott Bridge in North Fort Myers, between Bayshore Road (SR 78) and Palm Beach Boulevard (SR 80), was closed overnight due to a law enforcement investigation. The road reopened this morning shortly before 11:30.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a single-vehicle accident Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. which resulted in the vehicle going off the bridge and becoming submerged in the water, caused the closing of the roadway.

An FHP report issued this morning indicated that last evening a white van driven by a 26-year-old Lehigh Acres resident was traveling south on State Road 31 approaching the bridge. As the male driver approached the bridge, he swerved to the right and collided with the guardrail on the west side of the road. He then swerved back to the left, crossed the northbound lane of the roadway and struck the east side concrete wall of the bridge, traveling through the wall and entering the Caloosahatchee where the van sank.

The driver, officers reported, escaped the vehicle and fled on foot. He was later located at a Lee County residence and charged with careless driving, driving without a license and leaving the scene of the crash involving damage to property.

According to the report, the driver was uninjured in the crash.

The bridge reopened after the Florida Department of Transportation inspected the span and made temporary repairs. FDOT reported that crews will return at a later date to make permanent repairs.