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No criminal charges against woman who hit, killed bicyclist on the Sanibel Causeway in 2011

May 17, 2012


The woman who hit and killed a bicyclist on the Sanibel Causeway in 2011 will not face criminal charges in the death.

Theresa L. Shirley, 46, of Bokeelia, drifted out of her lane on the bridge and struck Tracey A. Kleinpell, 46, of Fort Myers, who was traveling in the opposite direction on a bicycle. Kleinpell was knocked over the railing and into the water on May 7, 2011.

Shirley’s truck just missed hitting Kleinpell’s husband, Gordon, who was on a bicycle in front of her.

“There was not enough evidence there under Florida law to be able to charge Theresa Shirley with vehicle manslaughter,” said Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office.

The Florida Highway Patrol conducted a detailed investigation, which included a toxicology test and witness interviews. All drugs in Shirley’s system were prescribed and had not been taken in excess, and witnesses said Shirley was not impaired before the accident.

FHP has given Shirley a criminal traffic citation for failure to remain in a single lane, and she is due in Lee County court at 8 a.m. Monday.

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