Tragedy in downtown Bartow was narrowly avoided Wednesday, April 23.
At approximately 4:56 p.m., a call came into Bartow Police that an accident involving a car and a motorcycle had occurred at the intersection of East Main Street and South Jackson Avenue.
According to the unofficial report written by investigating officer Luke Hauser, the female operator of a 2005 Hyundai Sonata — whose name was withheld as she is a minor — was traveling northbound on South Jackson Avenue.
The report states that the driver of the Hyundai claims she looked in both directions and did not see any traffic headed her way, so she began to pull into the intersection. As she did, a 2000 Victory motorcycle driven by Angel Cotto, 35, of Lakeland was traveling eastbound on East Main Street, driving the speed limit. However, Cotto was unable to brake in time and struck the left rear panel of the Sonata.
Cotto was transported by Polk County EMS to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
“That’s because he was wearing a helmet,” said Bartow Police Cpl. Bryan Dorman, who provided The Polk County Democrat with the unofficial report about the incident. “Helmets save lives.”
The driver of the Sonata was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way.