Caloosa Belle

Man charged in February fatal crash

Ramiro Gaona, 19, of LaBelle was arrested by Florida Highway Patrol at 12:45 p.m. on October 10 and charged with DUI, DUI property damage, DUI manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was delivered to the Hendry County Jail.

The arrest goes back to a February 22 vehicle crash on Helms Road, east of Camel Drive.

At 2:19 that morning, Mr. Gaona was driving east on the single eastbound lane of Helms Road, a two-lane road posted for 45 miles per hour. He failed to negotiate a slight left bend adjacent to the intersection of Camel Drive, and the right side of his 2000 Ford F150 entered the grass shoulder to the south.

He over-corrected toward the left, causing the truck to cross the center lane divider and enter the grass shoulder to the north. He over-corrrected to the right and his vehicle began rotating clockwise. It overturned on the north shoulder, ejecting the victim, passenger Jose Gaona, Jr. 26 of LaBelle.

The truck rolled 1.5 times and came to a final rest on its roof, facing southwest, in the north shoulder.

The driver was still in the truck when first responders arrived and was transported to LeHigh Regional Medical Center. Victim Jose Gaona, Jr., passed away en route to Lee Memorial Hospital.