Family of Cape teen killed by Lee deputy files wrongful death lawsuit

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The family of a teenager killed by a Lee County deputy is suing the deputy and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Fifteen-year-old Austin Dukette was riding his bike to school on Kismet Parkway back in August, when Deputy Douglas Hood hit him.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed Tuesday morning says both Deputy Hood and LCSO are responsible for what happened.

The lawsuit contends that Deputy Hood was speeding, swerving and looking down at his work laptop when he hit Dukette.

Hood adamantly denied looking at his laptop at the time of the crash. He was found not guilty of failing to stay in a single lane, the only charge brought against him.

A traffic homicide investigation conducted by the Cape Coral Police Department concluded that:

 “Hood looked away from the road while he was driving in order to adjust the brightness controls on the computer, moments before the traffic crash occurred.”

The judge said there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Hood.

Now, Dukette’s family is asking for at least $15,000 in damages for mental pain and suffering.

The lawsuit also goes after LCSO, claiming it is “vicariously liable” for Hood’s actions.

WINK News reached out to LCSO for comment but the sheriff’s office says they do not comment on pending litigation.

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