Florida & polk county , winter haven news

Vehicle Vs Motorcycle Crash with Serious Injuries in Mulberry

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Time of Accident On 05/02/2020 at 9:30 a.m.

Location: SR 60 (W. Canal St.) & 1st Ave NW, Mulberry Driver of the


V1-2010, Red Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Motorcycle: Mark Andrew Bratcher; Timberwood Drive, Lakeland, FL; 52, Passenger, motorcycle: Jill M. Slighter, Timberwood Drive, Lakeland; 49

V2-2015, Gray Ford Focus 

Driver of the vehicle: Chasity Jennica Smith; Lakeland, FL; 18

Based on the evidence at the scene and interviews, on 05/02/2020, at about 9:30 a.m., a vehicle versus motorcycle crash with injuries occurred at SR 60 (W. Canal Street) at 1st Avenue NW, Mulberry. Fire/Medics and PCSO units responded to render aid. Upon arrival, the motorcycle driver, Mark Bratcher, was found with injuries and was transported to Lakeland Regional Health as a trauma alert. His passenger, Jill Slighter, suffered minor injuries and was also transported to Lakeland Regional Health. The car occupants of the car were uninjured and remained on scene. The 2010 Harley Davidson Motorcycle was traveling eastbound in the left turn lane of SR 60. The Driver, Mark Bratcher, was attempting to turn left onto 1st Avenue NW to enter the Shell Convenience store. As the motorcycle was attempting to turn, it travelled into the path of a 2015, Gray Ford Focus, being driven by Chasity Smith. The Ford was westbound in the outside (north) lane and had just crossed the intersection with SR 37. The front of the Ford Focus struck the left side of the motorcycle, causing the motorcycle to be re-directed back to the southwest approximately 160 feet. The motorcycle flipped and tumbled, ejecting both riders. The Ford Focus stopped after the crash in the west bound lane and suffered significant front end damage as a result of the crash. Neither motorcycle occupants were wearing a helmet or other safety equipment. Both occupants of the Ford Focus were seat belted. The front and side curtain airbags in their vehicle deployed. Chasity Smith was evaluated by DUI certified deputies and showed no signs of impairment. According to medical evaluation of Mr. Bratcher, impairment is not suspected on his part. SR 60 was closed at the scene of the crash for approximately 4 hours; traffic was re-routed. Rail traffic was opened once the evidence field was cleared. Jill Slighter was treated and released from the hospital. Mr. Bratcher is in critical condition at Lakeland Regional Health. The investigation is ongoing.

As of today, Mr. Bratcher is still in critical condition at LRHMC. 

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