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48 Yr Old Truck Driver Struck & Killed While Checking On Flat Tire

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Unit was called to investigate a traffic crash last evening, Wednesday, July 10, 2024, around 9:30 p.m. in the Bradley Junction area south of Mulberry, during which a man was struck and fatally injured.

 

The man, 48-year-old Rafael Bubaire of Tampa, was driving a Trans-Phos semi-truck hauling a dump trailer when he stopped his rig in the northbound lane of Old Hwy 37 near Jamison Road, presumably due to a mechanical issue (deputies who arrived at the scene later noted that one of the right tires was flat). Bubaire got out of the semi to inspect it.

 

The driver of a 2020 white Chevy truck, 19-year-old Christopher Braswell of Tampa, was heading south on Old Hwy 37 when he saw the stopped semi in the northbound lane, then heard a loud noise. At that time, Bubaire suddenly appeared in front of Braswell’s truck from the area of the rear semi axles. Braswell was unable to avoid striking Bubaire, and he ultimately died at the scene. Braswell immediately stopped and cooperated with law enforcement. He was not injured.


It was dark in the rural area at the time of the crash. Braswell was evaluated and did not appear to be impaired or distracted. The roadway in that area was shut down for several hours during the investigation.

 

author avatar
Carl Fish

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