Two people were killed and another critically injured early Saturday in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 60 East near Lake Wales.
The incident occurred just before 6 AM at the intersection of Lake Wales Rd. South.
Jonathan Andrew Bretch, the driver of one of the vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene. Renee Dale Fowler, a passenger in Bretch's 1998 Chevrolet Astro Van, also died at the scene.
A second passenger in the van, Joel Matthew Grimes, was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition.
According to Polk County Sheriff's Office report a 1994 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Clifford Lamont Smith, was traveling east on Highway 60 when the collision occurred.
Investigators say Bretch ran through a stop sign and traveled directly into the path of Smith's semi.
The 60-year-old Lakeland resident attempted to avoid the collision but was unable to do so. The truck struck the driver's side of the van causing the semi to ‘jack-knife' across the median and into the westbound lanes of Highway 60.
Smith's vehicle went through a fence and came to a stop after striking a citrus tree.
Bretch, 31, was not wearing a seatbelt. Neither were Fowler, 41, and Grimes, 45. All three occupants of the van reside in Lake Wales according to the report.
Smith suffered minor injuries and was transported to Bartow Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.
The investigation continues.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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