Passenger from Feb. 25 accident on Marco dies, police say
The medical examiner notified police that one of the passengers in the vehicle that flipped on Feb. 25 died in the hospital, according to Captain Dave Baer of the Marco Island Police Department.
"The District 20 Medical Examiner notified MIPD that Margot Reyes, of Delaware, a passenger in vehicle #1 died post collision while in the hospital," Baer wrote in an email sent on March 2.
Two people were transported to the hospital after a car overturned at N. Collier Blvd. by Yellow Street in Marco Island around 12 p.m., according to Baer.
The Eagle observed as firefighters removed one of the passengers who was put on a stretcher. The other passenger was able to stand up with the help of emergency personnel.
The upside-down 4-door vehicle was a blue Saturn VUE with a Delaware license plate.
"Arriving officers found two vehicles involved: one of the vehicles upside down in the roadway and a palm tree knocked down in the median," Baer wrote. "One individual was extricated from their vehicle by police and fire personnel."
"One driver, as well as one passenger, were transported to local hospitals -- one with serious injuries."
The crash required traffic to be diverted off of N. Collier Blvd. for an extended period of time.
The 2005 Saturn VUE, driven by Hector Manual Reyes Garay from Newark, Delaware, was southbound in the 1200 block of N. Collier Blvd. when it veered off the right side of the roadway and struck several mailboxes and signs, according to Baer. The car continued into the center median at Yellowbird St., when it struck a tree and hit a second vehicle.
The Saturn then overturned in the northbound lanes of N. Collier Blvd.
"Garay was determined to be asleep or fatigued before the crash," Baer wrote. "Margot Reyes, a passenger in vehicle #1, was transported to the hospital."
The second vehicle, a 2013 Toyota Prius driven by Janice Procupp from St. Augustine, Florida, was northbound on N. Collier Blvd. at Yellowbird St. when it was struck by the Saturn, Baer wrote. A passenger in the second car was identified as Penelope Ellen Weissgerber.
All drivers and passengers used seat belts and neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor in the crash, Baer wrote.
From 2017 to 2019, two people have died each year due to traffic accidents in Marco Island, according to Marco Island Police Department. In 2020, three people have died as of March 2.
Wayne Ploghoft died after his scooter crashed with a 2019 Ford driven by Bart Drake at the intersection of East Elkcam Circle and Collier Blvd. on Jan. 2, according to a news release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
On Feb. 5, an off-duty police officer died following a traffic crash at the intersection of San Marco Rd. and Heathwood Dr. in Marco Island.
The motorcyclist was identified as Lt. Clayton Smith of the Marco Island Police Department.
Smith, 58, served with the department for six years, according to police Chief Tracy L. Frazzano.
“The Marco Island Police Department cannot express our appreciation and gratitude enough for the significant support demonstrated by the community and other first responders," Frazzano wrote in a news release the day of Smith's memorial service on Feb. 10.
"Lt. Clayton Smith touched thousands of lives in his 31-year career in both Marco Island and Springfield Township (Ohio)," Frazzano wrote. "His passing is a tremendous loss and we ask that the community continue to keep the Smith family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.