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81-year-old woman killed in 4-vehicle crash in Polk County

Driver accused of running stop sign

File photo - hospital emergency room.
File photo - hospital emergency room. (Pixabay)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A truck driver who ran a stop sign caused a four-vehicle crash that left an 81-year-old woman dead, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said 45-year-old Gary Swanner was driving a Peterbilt truck on South Boulevard approaching U.S. 27 in Polk County around 10:25 a.m. Friday when he “failed to stop and remain stopped” at a stop sign and entered into the direct path of a semi truck.

The semi driver swerved to avoid the crash, which caused him to lose control and enter the left turn lane of southbound U.S. 27 and hit the rear of a Lexus SUV, according to the crash report. After that collision, the semi traveled into the northbound lanes of U.S. 27 and hit the front of a Cadillac, records show.

The semi driver and the Lexus driver suffered minor injuries. Troopers said the 64-year-old man driving the Cadillac is in serious condition and his passenger, an 81-year-old woman, died at an area hospital.

Swanner was not injured, according to the report.


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