LAKE WALES, FL – A wrong-way crash in Polk County Friday night claimed the lives of two adults and two children, according to WFLA.
The collision involved a car and a pickup truck, and took place on State Road 60 near County Road 630 in Lake Wales at about 10:30 p.m.
Authorities said 83-year-old Phillip Penatello was driving a Ford F-150 pickup east on SR-60 when he went into the left lane in an attempt to pass another vehicle.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the pickup initially struck two westbound vehicles and continued heading east in the westbound lanes, hitting a Nissan Altima head-on. The driver of the Altima, 42-year-old Wagner Salvador of Palm Beach, was hospitalized in stable condition. However, three of his family members who were passengers in the car were killed. They were identified as 45-year-old Veruska Salvador, 12-year-old Ashley Salvador, and 11-year-old Albert Salvador.
Penatello, of Hobe Sound, Florida, also died of his injuries. The sheriff’s office shut down the roadway for about six hours for the investigation.
No criminal charges are pending due to the death of Penatello.
Highway accidents are dangerous enough, but when they involve a wrong-way driver, the chances of serious damage, injuries, or even fatalities rises exponentially. Were you injured or did you lose a loved one due to a reckless wrong-way driver? A Polk County Car Accident lawyer at Kemp, Ruge and Green Law Group can direct you on the best next steps. We will fight for you to receive maximum possible compensation. Call us today at 727-847-4878 to request your free consultation.