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Bartow Man Killed In Early Morning Winter Haven Crash

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A crash involving two vehicles on Thornhill Road in Winter Haven early Sunday morning, January 22, 2023 resulted in the death a Bartow man.

Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, along with Polk County Fire Rescue, were dispatched at 5:15 a.m., to the crash scene near the intersection of Thornhill Road and Sugar Creek Road.

Upon arrival of first responders, a 63-year-old Bartow man was found deceased. He was the driver of a blue 1999 Mercury Grand Marquise.

The second driver, 37-year-old Keith Lawson of Bartow, was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. He was driving a red 2002 Ford Explorer.

Based on evidence and interviews at the scene, Traffic Homicide investigators determined that the 63-year-old man was traveling north on Thornhill Road, while Mr. Lawson was traveling south. Mr. Lawson swerved across the center, double-yellow line of Thornhill Road and crashed into the front driver’s side of the Grand Marquise.

Detectives are investigating if excessive speed, impairment, and/or distracted driving are factors in the crash; this investigation is on-going. A small portion of Thornhill Road was closed in the area of the crash for approximately three hours.

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