Last evening, October 31, 2021, the PCSO Traffic Unit was called to the scene of a three-vehicle crash with serious injuries and one fatality.
The crash occurred around 7:35 p.m. in the 19000 block of SR 60 East in Lake Wales near Grape Hammock Road. According to the witnesses and evidence, a 2015 silver Buick Lacrosse being driven eastbound on SR 60 by 42-year-old Michael Franks of Lake Wales for unknown reasons drifted over the center line and into the westbound lane. The Buick struck a 2015 black Honda four-door, propelling the Honda off the roadway and into a ditch. The Buick continued down the westbound lane and struck head-on a 2020 silver Chevrolet Silverado that was pulling a livestock trailer with pigs inside. The trailer became detached and was pushed into the rear of the truck. The pigs were not injured.
Franks was deceased on-scene.
The driver of the Honda, 34-year-old Diery Clavier of Tampa, suffered non-life threatening injuries and is at a local hospital. His passenger, 30-year-old Jude Dorelus, was airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries and is expected to recover.
The driver of the Chevy truck, 33-year-old Jacob Wise of Punta Gorda, was taken via ambulance to a local hospital with serious injuries, but is expected to recover. His front seat passenger (his wife), 32-year-old Alicia Wise was airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries; her 12-year-old daughter Gracia Logan was not injured.
All of the vehicles’ occupants were wearing seat belts. It is unknown at this time what caused Mr. Franks to cross the center line, and the investigation is ongoing. Neither of the other drivers was impaired or speeding.
SR 60 in that area was closed for approximately 6 hours during the investigation.