LAKE WALES, FL (WFLA) – A man helping a woman push a gasless SUV down the road got hit by a car in Lake Wales, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The car driver had marijuana in the vehicle, deputies said.
It happened late Monday night on the westbound lane of State Road 60 east of Evergreen Drive. Marley Finley, 21, of Chicago, and her uncle David Bryan, 29, of Lake Wales, were in the Chevrolet Equinox going down SR 60 when they ran out of gas. They began pushing the Chevy down the road in the westbound lane, according to PCSO.
Finley was pushing from behind and Bryan was at the driver’s open door, steering. PCSO deputies said that the Chevy’s flashers were engaged and there was a raised concrete curb that prevented the two from pushing the vehicle off the road. They were trying to make it to the nearby driveway.
Oliver Simmons Jr., 37, was driving his Honda Civic west on SR 60. He said he didn’t see the SUV until the very last minute. He slammed the brakes to avoid a crash but it was too late. The Civic hit the SUV in the left rear, then struck Bryan.
Marley Finley pulled her uncle off the road and called for help. The man was taken to a hospital. Deputies said he was in critical condition. The young woman was not injured.
Polk deputies said that Simmons had his seat belt on and showed no signs of imparement at the scene. He was also cooperative.
Deputies found three large bags and eight small bags of marijuana in the Civic. Simmons was arrested on charges of Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell, Maintaining a Vehicle for Drug Use, and Possession of Paraphernalia.
State Road 60 had only one open lane for about five hours after the crash, deputies said.
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