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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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PCSO Trying To Identify bicyclist Killed On Hwy 27 Thursday Morning

Polk County Sheriffs Office Press Release

PCSO responded to a vehicle versus bicycle crash on US Hwy 27 that occurred around 6:25 a.m. this morning in Lake Hamilton – preliminary information so far is as follows:

Evidence along with interviews indicate the cyclist was northbound along the right (east) shoulder of US 27, after having been to the Hardee’s restaurant in Dundee.  The cyclist was attempting to cross US 27 from the east side to the center median. A witness (semi-truck driver), who was in the middle lane of travel, saw the cyclist stick his arm out as if to signal a turn. The cyclist then began to turn and travel west across US 27. The witness blew his horn, braked, and changed lanes to the right to avoid the cyclist. At the same time, a Silver Dodge Caravan, driven by 65-year-old Kellie P. Kelley of Lake Placid, was travelling northbound on US 27 in the inside (left) lane. When Kelley heard the truck blow its horn, she was to the left and slightly behind it. She began to check for hazards, but the cyclist had already crossed into the edge of her lane before she saw him. She attempted to avoid the cyclist, but struck him with the right front of her vehicle in a glancing blow.

A Blue Nissan Rogue, driven by 28-year-old Jacqueline N. Brand of Lake Wales, was behind Kelley in the inside lane saw Kelley brake and take evasive action, at which time she also did the same. Brand advised she not strike the person, but thought she ran over part of the bike. Both vehicles came to a controlled stop in the left turn lane. The cyclist and bicycle both came to final rest in the middle lane of northbound US 27 near the point of impact.

Both drivers were seat belted. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet or any reflective or protective clothing. He did have front and rear facing lights, which were operating.  These lights provided no illumination to the sides. None of the witnesses or drivers saw any lights on the bicycle before or at the time of the crash. He was deceased on-scene.

Neither excessive speed nor impairment by either driver is believed to be factors in the crash, but will be further investigated. The cyclist had no obvious signs of impairment. No charges are currently anticipated, but a final determination is pending completion of the investigation.

Northbound US 27 was closed for approximately 3 hours during the course of the investigation. Traffic was re-routed onto Frederick Avenue.

The victim had no identification on his person. A fingerprint scanner was utilized on-scene in an attempt to ID the victim with negative results. Fingerprints were obtained at his autopsy and the PCSO Identification Unit is working to positively identify the victim, in which case PCSO will attempt to locate his next of kin. He is an adult white male, who appears to be over the age of 55.

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