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Woman who struck bicyclist on Sanibel Causeway in 2011 fatal crash arrested in prescription fraud case

Dec. 12, 2012
Theresa Lynn Shirley


The woman who struck and killed a bicyclist on the Sanibel Causeway last year has been arrested on 12 counts of prescription fraud.

Theresa Lynn Shirley, 48, of Bokeelia, is accused of illegally obtaining more than 10,000 oxycodone pills from Lee and Broward counties over a 17-month period, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement release. The doctor shopping was discovered through FDLE and the Florida Highway Patrol’s investigation of the 2011 fatal crash.

Shirley drifted out of her lane and struck bicyclist Tracey A. Kleinpell, 46, of Fort Myers, on the bridge in May 2011. Kleinpell was knocked over the railing and into the water.

Shirley did not face criminal charges in the death - the Florida Highway Patrol found all drugs in Shirley’s system were prescribed and had not been taken in excess.
FHP requested FDLE’s help to determine from what physicians Shirley received medication around the time of the crash. Through an investigation, agents learned Shirley was receiving similar controlled substances from seven different medical clinics.

Between June 2010 and November 2011, FDLE says Shirley obtained 10,752 oxycodone pills and 1,100 hydrocodone pills. She also obtained hydromorphone and alprazolam.

Shirley turned herself in today to the FDLE operations center in Fort Myers. She was transported to Lee County Jail, where she remains.

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