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2 pedestrians hit, killed by semi in Polk County

Posted at 8:50 AM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 11:52:09-05

MULBERRY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating the deaths of two pedestrians who were hit by a semi-truck on Monday night.

Deputies say 29-year-old Rafael Gandoy and 23-year-old Armando Melendez, both from Lakeland, were hit on State Road 60 in Mulberry around 8 p.m. The men were walking east on the paved shoulder of the road when the passenger side tires of the semi crossed the white fog line and hit them, the sheriff's office says.

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The victims were both found lying in the grass with extensive trauma, according to deputies. Gandoy was pronounced dead at the scene. Melendez was airlifted to Lakeland Regional where he later died.

The driver of the truck, 54-year-old Francisco Botello-Herndandez, also from Lakeland, stayed on the scene. He was not injured in the incident.

Deputies say the impact happened east of Coronet Road as the truck was negotiating a curve. The road was closed to nearly five hours after the crash.

The crash remains under investigation. No other information was immediately available.