Two men were killed in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday night, May 18, 2021, on State Road 60 near Lake Wales. The crash occurred at around 7:44 PM.
Killed in the crash were 27-year-old Billy Burgess of Bartow and 35-year-old Thomas Snipes III of Winter Haven. Both men had been ejected from the vehicle, and were found deceased upon the arrival of first responders.
Burgess was the driver of the black 2003 Chevrolet pick-up truck, and Snipes was a passenger.
In addition to deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, members of Polk County Fire Rescue and the Florida Department of Transportation responded, with the latter maintaining traffic control at the scene which was approximately 1,000-feet east of Lake Wales Road.
According to evidence and witness statements, the preliminary investigation shows that Burgess’ truck was travelling westbound on SR 60 in the inside lane. As he approached a curve in the roadway, Burgess lost control of the vehicle and it drove through the median and rotated. The truck then entered the eastbound lanes and the truck flipped several times.
Both men were ejected from the truck which caused their fatal injuries. Neither was wearing a seat belt.
The pick-up truck struck a utility pole on the south side of the road, and the pole broke off at its base.
Westbound SR 60 was closed for approximately two hours, and eastbound SR 60 was closed for about four hours.