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Lake Wales
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

8 Month Old Critically Injured In Hwy 27 Crash In South Lake Wales


Around 5:30 p.m., the PCSO ECC received a 911 call from the area of US Hwy 27 at the intersection with Alturas Babson Park Cutoff Road in unincorporated Lake Wales, regarding a three-vehicle crash. Evidence at the scene and interviews with involved parties and witnesses indicate that the traffic lights at the intersection were not properly functioning, but were flashing yellow on Hwy 27, and flashing red on the east-west roadway crossing Hwy 27, which is Pine Crest Road on the east side and ABC Road on the west side.  


A white 2023 semi-truck hauling a trailer was heading south on 27 and slowed as it approached the intersection, while a silver 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander was heading west on Pine Crest Road approaching the intersection and attempting to cross Hw7 27 to ABC Road. A blue 2013 Ford Focus was stopped on ABC Road, facing east.

The Mitsubishi crossed over the northbound lanes of Hwy 27 and as it entered into the southbound lanes, it was struck by the semi, which was unable to avoid hitting it. The semi struck the Mitsubishi on the rear passenger door, causing it to spin and collide with the front of the Ford Focus. 


No signs of impairment of any of the drivers was observed or suspected. A portion of Hwy 27 was closed for approximately three hours. All of the occupants were seat-belted. The names and conditions of the occupants are:


Semi driver: 42-year-old Efron Velazquez of Haines City; not injured


Mitsubishi driver: 23-year-old Akeen Colbert, Jr. of Lake Wales; treated and released from the hospital

Mitsubishi passenger: 19-year-old Faith Garcia of Lake Wales; treated and released from the hospital

Mitsubishi passenger: An 8-month-old of Lake Wales; was a trauma alert to Tampa General Hospital, in critical but stable condition.

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