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Father and girlfriend arrested in canal crash that killed two boys

Posted at 8:10 AM, Nov 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 22:39:44-05


Records from the Lee County court system show that Kenneth Lawson got into a drunken altercation in Cape Coral five days before the crash.

According to the documents, after a fight with his ex-girlfriend, a heavily drunk Lawson broke windows in her home and ran and hid from Lee County Sheriff's deputies.

When they asked him his name, he lied.

Witnesses say his two kids were there for part of the incident, but they were eventually picked up by a relative.

Cape Coral police say they know people are angry that it took them so long to arrest Lawson, but the interim chief say they wanted to make sure their case was airtight.

"A case that leads to a successful prosecution in criminal court. That is true justice for our victims," said Anthony Sizemore.

Lawson was charged with possession of marijuana, fraud and property damage as a result of that drunken fight.


Detectives located Julia Drudy at 339 SW 31st Terrace around 7:15 pm.

She spoke with officers after seeing the press conference, wanting to turn herself in.

Drudy was arrested and charged with Permitting an Unauthorized Operator to Drive.

UPDATE 12/04/2020

Cape Coral Police have arrested Kenneth Wayne Lawson for the canal crashed that submerged his vehicle, killing his two young sons.

He is facing charges of two charges of DUI manslaughter.

Lawson, 29, drove his 2014 white Ford Focus into a canal in the 3100 Block of NE 5th Pl. Nov. 25, just before midnight.

Lawson and his girlfriend Julia Drudy got out of the canal and left Lawson’s two sons, 7 and 10 years old, submerged in the vehicle. Bystanders jumped in the water and took the boys out of the car, but both passed away.

On Dec. 4, officers arrested Lawson at 3000 NE 2nd Ave., in Cape Coral.

Lawson’s girlfriend, Julia Ann Drudy, is also facing charges at this time. If you have any information on her whereabouts, please contact the Cape Coral Police Department by calling (239) 574-3223, or calling Crimestoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS. Please use the Case Report # 20-022144.

UPDATE: 12/1 -

Police in Michigan has a warrant out for the father of the two little boys who were killed in a Cape Coral car crash last week.

Kenneth Wayne Lawson is wanted on multiple charges including assault and weapons.

He has not been charged in the crash that killed the two young boys.

The investigation is still ongoing.

UPDATE 11/27 (11:00 p.m.): A second child has died following a car crash in a Cape Coral canal.

That crash happened just before midnight Wednesday, and a bystander actually jumped into the water to try to save the kids. Tyler Ravert lives right across from the canal the car plunged into. He heard the crash, and didn’t hesitate.

“I have children. Same ages as the children that were in the vehicle. So it just kicked in. Fatherly instinct. Just do what you can to save," said Ravert.

Ravert tried to save the children while his wife called 9-1-1. It was only on Friday he learned they didn’t make it.

“I heard it this morning. My wife told me. I was, I was basically devastated. Started crying instantly," said Ravert.

On Friday, a surveyor was documenting the scene of the crash at the corner of NE 31st St. and NE 5th Pl. He told us he wasn’t working with the police, but with a private employer.

Police have confirmed that alcohol and drugs were involved in the crash. Ravert said that should be a warning to anyone thinking about drinking and getting behind the wheel.

“Don’t take things for granted. You have one life and you make it, make it the correct way. Don’t make bad decisions, because you could lose children or family members," said Ravert.

At this time we also know that there were two adults in the car that survived, Kenneth Wayne Lawson and Julia Ann Drudy. Police have not said if they plan to bring any charges yet.

UPDATE 11/27:

Cape Coral Police have confirmed the second child in the vehicle has died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The investigation is still ongoing.

UPDATE 11/26:

Cape Coral Police say alcohol and drugs are a factor in the 2014 white Ford Focus going into a canal at NE 31st Street and NE 5th Place.

Two boys were in the submerged car. One died and the other suffered life-threatening injuries.

Kenneth Wayne Lawson and Julia Ann Drudy, both of Cape Coral, suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The Cape Coral Police Department is investigating the death of child after a car crashed into a canal late Wednesday night.

Police say the car went into the water just before midnight on 6th Avenue.

FOX 4's has learned two adults and a second child made it out of the car.

A neighbor, Tyler Ravert, says he heard the crash.

Ravert says his wife dialed 911 while he ran out and jumped into the water to help.

Police arrived on scene within five minutes, along with a dive team.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash.

This is a developing story. Trust our team to bring you the latest developments.