Florida & polk county , winter haven news

Bicyclist May Have Been Struck By 5 Vehicles In Deadly Lake Wales Crash New Years Eve On Hwy 27

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On December 31, 2020 at approximately 6:12 PM, officers of the Lake Wales Police Department responded to US 27 south of State Road 60 in reference to someone lying in the middle of the road. Upon arrival, officers began their initial investigation and learned a traffic crash had occurred.
A bicycle ridden by a white male had been riding down the center of the southbound lanes of US 27. Initially several vehicles were able to dodge the bicyclist before he was struck by a vehicle traveling behind them. The bicyclist was then struck by several other vehicles traveling the same direction. The bicyclist was deceased upon officer’s arrival. We will not release his identity at this time as we are still attempting to locate the next of kin.

At this point, officers have determined five vehicles were involved in this crash. None of the drivers or their occupants were injured in this crash. The vehicles and their occupants are as follows:
-A 2008 Ford SUV driven by Justin Cadwallader of Lake Wales, age 29.
-A 2010 GMC SUV driven by Jose Maritnez of Orange City, age 24 with his three children.
-A 2016 Ford SUV driven by Hayley Barrett of Frostproof, age 27.
-A 2011 Volkswagon Jetta driven by Luis Pereira-Luiz of Babson Park, age 22. His passenger was Ana Goncales De Arauj of Babson Park, age 21.
-A 2010 Dodge SUV driven by James White of Lake Wales, age 42.


This investigation is ongoing at this time. Anyone with information should contact Officer Meyers at the Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223 ext. 550.

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