The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Unit is investigating fatal crash in Mulberry
On Saturday, January 7, 2018, around 8:49 p.m., PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit responded to a two-vehicle crash involving a 2017 black Nissan Altima driven by 47-year-old Vickee Cook of Lakeland, and a 2015 grey Ford Taurus driven by 28-year-old Maria Mendiola of Wauchula, on S.R. 37 at the intersection of Cozart Road in Mulberry.
Preliminary investigation suggests:
Cook was traveling north on S.R. 37 S., she crossed into the southbound lane for unknown reasons and struck the Ford Taurus head-on.
PCFR and EMS also responded to the scene and extinguished the fire that engulfed Cook’s vehicle. Cook was declared deceased on-scene.
Mendiola was taken by ground to LRMHC and later succumbed to her injuries and was declared deceased.
Neither excessive speed or impairment are thought to be factors in the crash.
A portion of S.R. 37 S., approximately 2 miles south of Hwy 60 was closed for approximately 6 hours during the investigation.
The investigation is on-going.