***UPDATE: SUNDAY, MAY 14th, 7:00 AM***A fatal two-vehicle crash occurred in Dundee Saturday night, May 13, 2023, after a motorcyclist drove the wrong direction on the highway.
Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the crash scene on US 27 at about 7:58 pm.
60-year old Garry Restifo of Lake Wales was identified as the driver of a black 2001 Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital but passed away a short time later.
The other vehicle involved was a black 2010 Dodge 2500 pickup truck, driven by 24-year old Jesus Palafox-Luberto of Avon Park. Mr. Palafox-Luberto and his four passengers suffered no serious injuries.
The PCSO Traffic Homicide unit assumed control of the investigation and began collecting evidence and witness statements.
In the early stage of the investigation, detectives have determined that the crash occurred on the southbound side of US 27, north of the intersection with Dundee Road.
Mr. Palafox-Luberto’s truck was traveling southbound when he noticed the motorcycle driving toward him. Both drivers swerved to avoid impact, but still collided.
The truck then struck a curb which caused the vehicle to roll over onto its roof.
All occupants inside of the truck were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and an infant in the truck was properly secured in a car seat.
Mr. Restifo was not wearing a helmet prior to the crash.
Polk County Fire Rescue and Florida Department of Transportation also responded to the scene.
The on-scene investigation lasted for about four hours, but the investigation is ongoing to determine why Mr. Restifo was driving the wrong direction.
ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS:Saturday, May 13, 10:00pm:The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal crash that was reported at 7:58pm, on US 27 at Dundee Road in Dundee.
The crash was reported to involve a motorcycle and a pickup truck.
The motorcyclist passed away a little over an hour after the crash.
Traffic on southbound US 27 is expected to be limited until at least midnight.
We will share more details once we get them from Traffic Homicide detectives at the crime scene.