Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
On Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 6:15 a.m., deputies responded to a crash in the south bound lanes of US 17 near South Clear Springs Road in Bartow involving a Kawasaki Sport Motorcycle and a Peterbuilt Garbage Truck.
The driver of the motorcycle, 22-year-old Bret Jarvis of Winter Haven, was pronounced deceased at Bartow Regional Medical Center after being transported from the scene.
There was heavy fog present at the time of the crash. Witnesses say Jarvis was heading southbound on US 17 at a high rate of speed. Jarvis was initially in the inside left lane when he approached two vehicles in front of him. Jarvis then proceeded to move to the right lane to pass the vehicles when he was seen attempting to brake and then running into the back of a garbage truck that was turning into a business at 2203 US 17 South. The motorcycle caught fire and witnesses pulled Jarvis away from the burning bike.
Witnesses also indicated the garbage truck, registered to Advance Disposal Services of Lakeland, had all of its warning lights functioning properly at the time of the crash.
Excessive speed is believed to be a factor, no charges are anticipated, but a final determination will be made upon the completion of the investigation.
No one else was injured in the crash. Southbound US 17 was closed for approximately 4 hours during the crash investigation and recovery.