The PCSO Traffic Unit investigated a serious bodily injury crash in Lake Wales last evening. Preliminary information is as follows:
Around 11:25 p.m. on Monday, March 7, 2016, a Chevy Equinox belonging to 21-year-old Marley Finley of Chicago, IL, had run out of gas in the westbound lane of SR 60, just east of Evergreen Drive in Lake Wales. She and her uncle, 29-year-old David Bryan of Bramblewood Drive in Lake Wales, began to push the disabled vehicle in the westbound lane.
The flashers on the SUV were engaged, and there was a raised concrete curb that prevented them from pushing it off the roadway completely – their goal was to push it to a nearby driveway. Finley was pushing the vehicle from behind, and Bryan was at the open driver’s door, holding onto the steering wheel.
A 1998 Honda Civic being driven by 37-year-old Oliver Simons Jr. of Seward Street in Tampa was heading westbound on SR 60 at what is estimated the posted speed limit of 45 MPH. Simons did not see the SUV or Bryan until the last minute, and braked in an attempt to avoid a collision. The Civic struck the SUV on the left rear, then glanced off and struck Bryan. Finley pulled Bryan off the roadway and called for help.
Bryan was transported to LRHMC where he is in critical condition. Finley was not injured.
Simon was wearing his seatbelt, and showed no initial signs of impairment. He was cooperative with the responding deputies. During the investigation, deputies located three large bags and 8 small bags of marijuana in his vehicle, and he was subsequently arrested for Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell, Maintaining a Vehicle for Drug Use, and Possession of Paraphernalia.
SR 60 was reduced to one lane of travel for approximately 5 hours during the investigation. The investigation is ongoing.