On January 11, 2021 at approximately 7:52pm the Lake Wales Police Department was dispatched to a traffic crash in the area of 520 Mountain Lake Cutoff Rd. Upon arrival officers learned the crash involved a 2011 Honda motorcycle and a 2012 Mazda 6 four door car. The investigation revealed the motorcycle was being operated by Matthew Gnas, a 25 year old Lake Wales resident, and the Mazda was being driven by Austin Gladney, a 32 year old Lake Wales. Investigators were told both vehicles were traveling westbound on Mountain Lake Cutoff Rd. The Mazda was traveling a normal speed and the motorcycle drove up behind the Mazda at a high rate of speed and crashed into the rear of the Mazda causing serious injuries to Gnas and major damage to the Honda motorcycle.
The Lake Wales Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene to provide medical treatment to Gnas. Gnas’ injuries were severe and as a result of those injuries he died at the scene of the crash. Gladney was not injured. Anyone who has information about this crash investigation is asked to contact Traffic Homicide Investigator Officer Sean Robertson at (863) 678-4223 extension 548.