Man dies after crashing head-on into semi-trailer

Deceased was driving wrong way

LAKE WALES, Fla. - Authorities are investigating a head-on collision in Lake Wales that took a man's life Saturday night, Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

According to the sheriff's report, at approximately 10:28 p.m., 26-year-old Phillip Craig Durden was driving in the wrong direction in a westbound lane of Highway 60 in a Ford F-150 pulling a trailer.

At the same time, 41-year-old Jay Michael Batson was driving a semi-trailer west in the westbound lanes.

The two trucks struck head on, just west of Capps Road. Druden's F-150 irrupted in flames, and he died at the scene.

Batson, who was wearing a seat-belt, crossed the median and blocked the eastbound lanes. He was transported to Lake Wales Medical Center, treated and released.

Highway 60 was closed until 5:00 a.m. Sunday.

The investigation is ongoing.

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