Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Deputies Conducting Fatal Crash Investigation
At approximately 4:20 pm, on Sunday, February 14, 2016, a black, 2012, Yamaha motorcycle, operated by 43-year-old Anthony Craig Cook of Seffner, was westbound on State Road 60 approaching Coronet Road in Mulberry.
The motorcycle was in the inside (left) lane and traveling at, what is estimated to be, highway speeds. At the same time, a tan, 2004 Ford Explorer, being driven by 23-year-old Lucia Flores-Rubio of Plant City, exited from Coronet Road, located on the north side of SR 60, in an attempt to turn left onto SR 60.
Flores-Rubio pulled into Cook’s path causing the Yamaha to strike the Explorer on the left side, just behind the driver’s door.
The Explorer was re-directed 25 feet to the west and rotated ninety degrees counter clockwise, coming to rest partially in the median and inside lane of travel. The motorcycle came to rest in the inside lane near the point of collision.
Emergency medical units responded to the scene and declared Cook, deceased. Flores-Rubio, was transported to Lakeland Regional Health with minor injuries.
Cook was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Airbags did not deploy in the Explorer and it does not appear as if Flores-Rubio was wearing a seat belt.
Impairment and excessive speed do not appear to be factors in this crash.
It was learned Flores-Rubio is not a U.S. citizen and did not have a valid driver license. After being treated and released from Lakeland Regional Health for minor injuries, Flores-Rubio was charged with Driving with No Valid Driver’s License Involving a Crash Death. She was transported to the County Jail and Booked without incident.
State Road 60 was reduced to one direction of travel in the eastbound lanes for approximately four hours.
The investigation is ongoing.