The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal three-vehicle crash that occurred Tuesday evening, September 12, 2023 in Polk City.
Deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue were dispatched at about 8:17 pm, to the crash on State Road 33 (Commonwealth Avenue), just west of Stevens Drive.
Upon their arrival, 26-year old Charles Vanduyn was found deceased in a beige 1998 Toyota Camry.
The other two drivers were identified as 51-year old Cindy Whittington in a silver 2012 Nissan Altima, and 34-year old Charlie Pickren III in a white 2008 Ford F150 pickup. They were both transported to a local hospital for treatment. Ms. Whittington suffered cuts and bruises. Mr. Pickren suffered a head laceration, and was said to be in stable condition.
All three of the drivers are from Polk City, and there were no passengers in any of the vehicles.
The PCSO Traffic Homicide Investigations and Crime Scene Investigations units responded to the scene to collect evidence and witness statements.
At this point in the investigation, it was determined that Mr. Vanduyn’s Toyota was traveling south on SR 33, while Ms. Whittington’s Nissan was traveling north, with Mr. Pickren’s Ford traveling north behind the Nissan.
For an unknown reason, Mr. Vanduyn’s Toyota crossed the center line and struck the Nissan on the driver’s side near the rear. The Nissan spun out of control and came to a stop near the intersection.
After the initial impact, Mr. Vanduyn’s Toyota hit the Ford head-on, which caused Mr. Pickren to be ejected from the Ford, and the truck began to burn.
SR 33 was closed in both directions for about four hours.
The investigation remains ongoing