The PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit investigated a crash in unincorporated Lake Wales last evening that involved a motorcyclist who crashed into three separate vehicles and then succumbed to his injuries. No other motorists were injured.
Around 6:15 p.m. on Friday, July 8, 2022, a 2017 white Harley-Davidson motorcycle being operated by 37-year-old G.W Sowell of Lake Wales was observed by several witnesses heading northbound at a high rate of speed on Buck Moore Road approaching Bel Ombre Circle. The roadway in that area is 45 MPH, two-lane, with one northbound and one southbound lane. Lines on the roadway for northbound traffic indicated no passing along the curve. Sowell approached the curve heading northbound and then entered into the southbound lane in an attempt to pass other vehicles, at which time it appeared he saw oncoming southbound traffic so he entered back into the northbound lane and struck the rear of a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUV.
The impact caused Sowell to lose control of his bike, and he went back into the southbound lane, where he was ejected and suffered serious head trauma. The bike continued forward, striking a 2014 Mazda CX 9 SUV and a PCSO unmarked 2019 Dodge Ram pickup truck, both of which were in the southbound lane. All three vehicles that were struck by the motorcycle came to a stop, and none of their occupants were injured. The PCSO lieutenant who was driving the Dodge truck immediately rendered aid and called for assistance over his radio. He was on-duty at the time but not responding to any calls for service.
Sowell was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was not wearing a helmet or any other protection. Impairment is unknown but will be further investigated; excessive speed and passing into oncoming traffic on a curved roadway are suspected as contributing factors. The investigation is ongoing, but no criminal charges are anticipated. The roadway was closed for approximately four hours last evening.