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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Lake Wales Woman Dies In Yesterday Afternoon Crash


The PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit investigated a two-vehicle crash in Lake Wales on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, involving a sand truck and a Toyota, which resulted in a fatality and significant injuries.

Yesterday around 2:30 p.m. deputies and Polk Fire Rescue responded to the intersection of Canal Road and Lake Mabel Loop Road in Lake Wales. The driver of a 2011 Silver Toyota Yaris, 79-year-old Minerva Cruz of Porter Drive, Lake Wales, was found deceased; her passenger, 77-year-old Confesor Lopez (he lives at the same address) was transported to a local hospital with critical injuries.


Cruz was stopped at the stop sign on Canal Road when she entered onto Lake Mabel Loop to turn left (south) and into the path of a 2020 Kenworth dump truck loaded with sand that was heading north on Lake Mabel Loop. The dump truck driver, 60-year-old Oriol Bernal of Kissimmee, swerved and braked to avoid striking Cruz but was unable to do so. The dump truck landed on its passenger side off the roadway as a result of the impact. Bernal had minor injuries and was also transported to the hospital.


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