Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
Around 12:45 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, the PCSO ECC received a 911 call in reference to a crash involving four vehicles on US Hwy 98 just north of Socrum Loop Road in Lakeland, near the entrance to the VFW Post building.
According to the witnesses and evidence, a truck was stopped in the northbound lanes of US Hwy 98, waiting for oncoming traffic to go by so it could turn left into the parking lot of the VFW. This truck was not involved in the crash.
A 2014 silver Dodge Grand Caravan being driven by 53-year-old Esther Boisvert of Davenport was in the process of stopping or was already completely stopped behind the truck, when a 2019 silver Ford F350 pickup truck being driven northbound by 24-year-old Patrick Banner of Winter Haven failed to see the two vehicles stopped in front of him in time to avoid a collision.
Banner swerved to the right at the last second. The front of his truck struck the right rear of the Dodge Caravan, propelling the van into the southbound lane, where it was struck by a 2003 burgundy Honda CRV, being driven south by 73-year-old Carol Bone with her husband, 77-year-old Gary Bone of Lakeland, in the passenger seat.
Mr. and Mrs. Bone suffered fatal injuries almost immediately. Boisvert was transported to LRHMC with non-life-threatening injuries. Banner was not injured.
A 2019 black Chevrolet Trax being driven south (behind the CRV) by 35-year-old Johana Moreno of Lakeland swerved left to avoid hitting the Honda CRV after it collided with the Caravan, clipping it and causing the Trax to roll onto its roof. Moreno suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and she was treated and released at LRHMC.
The occupants of all four vehicles were wearing seatbelts. Neither excessive speed, distraction, nor impairment on the part of Banner are suspected, but will be investigated. He admitted to deputies that he was following too closely and could not stop in time. The investigation is ongoing.
US Hwy 98 was closed in both directions for approximately four hours during the investigation