Car crash shocks Cape teen

Her best friend killed, brother injured from canal accident

By SARAH GREENHALGH, sgreenhalgh@news-press.com
Published by news-press.com on November 29, 2003


Heather Bryner is still reeling from the death of her best friend, Anthony C. Carmichael, in a Cape Coral crash that also injured her brother, Scott.

Carmichael, 18, died after his 1999 Infiniti landed upside-down in a canal around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“Anthony was a great person,” said Heather Bryner, 18. “I can’t believe he is gone. I am really going to miss him.”

According to Cape Coral police, Carmichael was driving on Northwest 13th Street when he failed to stop at a stop sign at Northwest Ninth Place, crossed the road into a field and dropped into a canal.

Police said Carmichael and passenger Scott Bryner were not wearing seat belts, and both young men had been drinking alcohol. The department is investigating the crash.

Scott Bryner, 20, said he does not remember seeing the stop sign.

“I remember we were going back home to get a change of clothes,” Scott Bryner said Friday. “I know we were going too fast. I never saw the stop sign and the next thing we were in a field. It was so dark — there are no street lights.

“Suddenly we hit the ground really hard and then were airborne for a few seconds and then we were upside-down in the canal. It was really scary and so dark. I couldn’t see or feel anything in the water.”

He doesn’t remember how he got out of the car, but he thinks it was through the broken windshield.

“My window had only been down halfway,” he said. “I started screaming for help as soon as I got to the surface. There was this kid on the bank, I think he was a neighbor, who called it in.”

Cape Coral Fire division chief Jeff Mikell talked to several firefighters and rescue personnel who were on the scene.

“It was pretty close to midnight when they arrived,” Mikell said. “The vehicle was a good 25 feet from the bank. It must have been going at a good speed.

“It took us a little while to make the recovery. Unfortunately, it was not in time.”

Scott Bryner said he had a deep laceration in his forehead that required several staples, many scrapes and cuts from broken glass and a sore back.

Heather Bryner arrived at the hospital after midnight just as they pronounced Carmichael, a 2003 Academy High School graduate, dead.

“Music was his life. He loved concerts, and his favorite bands were Korn and Mudvayne,” she said. The two had known each other since freshman year.

Scott Bryner also feels the loss of Carmichael.

“He was a great friend,” he said. “I am going to miss him a lot.”