Seven-vehicle pileup involving three semi-trucks in Lake Wales spills diesel fuel, orange juice

One injury reported, lanes closed on SR-60
Posted at 9:55 AM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 15:22:50-05

UPDATE 2:34 P.M. WEDNESDAY | Westbound lanes of State Road 60 in Lake Wales remain closed following an early morning seven-vehicle traffic crash, including three semis, authorities said.

The driver of the first semi has been identified as 36-year-old Omar Almestian of Davenport.

The second semi driver was 55-year-old George Buzzutto of Fort Pierce. The second semi hauling orange juice barrels jackknifed.

Christopher Baker, 32, of Dundee was the driver of the third semi.

The driver of the Saab SUV was 46-year-old Christopher Ellis of Fort Meade. He was listed in stable condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Jarrett Kelly, 21, of Zephyrhills, was driving the Chevy Silverado.

The driver of the Ford Focus, which was hit by a barrel in the eastbound lane, was Abraham Rodriguez, 29. of Haines City.

The driver of the seventh vehicle, whose make and model was not released, was not identified. The seventh vehicle also was struck by an OJ barrel.

The crash left one man injured and fuel and orange juice spilled on the road.

ORIGINAL STORY | Polk County officials are on scene of a seven-vehicle crash on State Road 60 East in Lake Wales Wednesday morning. 

Deputies say at approximately 6 a.m., two semi-tractor trailers were heading westbound in the outside lane of SR 60 East near Logistics Parkway. For unknown reasons, the second semi rear-ended the first semi, causing it to jack-knife in the road.

As the second semi-truck jack-knifed, an SUV that was also heading westbound in the outside lane, swerved into the inside lane to avoid hitting the semi-truck. The SUV was unable to avoid the truck and crashed into it and was then hit by a pickup truck and another semi that were heading westbound in the inside lane. 

The semi was carrying barrels of orange juice and 300 gallons ended up spilling into the roadway due to the crash. The barrels were ejected out of the truck and into the eastbound lanes of SR-60 East. Two of the barrels hit vehicles heading eastbound at the time of the crash. Fifty gallons of diesel also leaked into the roadway as a result of the crash. 

The adult male driver in the SUV was transported to the hospital and is listed in extremely critical condition. 

The driver of the jack-knifed semi was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the third semi also suffered non-life threatening injuries. 

There were no other injuries involved in the crash. 

Deputies on scene say the fog was very heavy in the area. They are asking motorists to slow down, use low-beams and avoid the area of the crash completely. 


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