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News Story
Updated: 04/26/2014 08:00:02AM

Death avoided in motorcycle, car mishap

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PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Mike Aycock from Ball's Wreck Service, picks up a motorcycle that was involved in a wreck Wednesday afternoon on Main Street in Bartow. PSA Chuck Butts helped him load the motorcycle onto the pickup. In the background is the pickup truck that was also involved in wreck.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Witnesses and curious onlookers mill about the corner of South Jackson Avenue and East Main Street while Bartow Police Department officer Luke Houser (far right) takes down information from the driver of the car (second from right) involved in a collision with a motorcycle; Houser is the investigating officer.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


The 2000 Victor motorcycle driven by Angel Cotto lays on the road following the collision with the black 2005 Hyundai Sonata (at top, on the right).

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Striation marks (foreground) made by the motorcycle show how far in advance the motorcyclist attempted to avoid colliding with a vehicle that pulled into the intersection.

By STEVE STEINER

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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.


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