PCSO investigates Sunday crash near Lake Wales; one dead, three children and adult sent to hospital
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single-vehicle crash near Lake Wales on Sunday afternoon, May 3, 2020, which claimed the life of a 38-year-old man. Three children and an adult woman were transported to hospitals for treatment. The crash occurred in the 5000 block of Scenic Highway North, at about 3:36 p.m.
Traffic homicide detectives identified Robert Caperilla of Lake Wales as the man who was killed. He was the driver of a blue 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. 34-year-old Chassity Albury, the front passenger, was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center as a trauma alert and was listed in fair condition. The three children, ages 8, 5, and 1, were flown to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the preliminary investigation, the Chevy Trailblazer was southbound on Scenic Highway when it went off of the right (west) shoulder of the road, struck a utility pole, and flipped over.
Caperilla, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, was ejected from the vehicle and killed. The children all appeared to be properly restrained, but it is not known at this time if Albury was wearing one.
Detectives are still working to determine why the vehicle left the roadway, and if impairment, excessive speed, or distraction were factors in the crash. Caperilla was driving with a revoked license (revoked on May 14, 2007).
Scenic Highway was closed in both directions for four hours.
The investigation is ongoing.