Lake Wales motorcyclist trying to pass vehicles on two-lane road killed in multi-vehicle crash, deputies say

A Lake Wales man was killed Friday evening following a crash that threw him off his motorcycle, which kept going and struck three other vehicles before coming to a stop. 

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 37-year-old G.W Sowell was driving a white Harley-Davidson motorcycle northbound at a high rate of speed on Buck Moore Road approaching Bel Ombre Circle around 6:15 p.m. on Friday. 

Investigators say, despite being in a 45 miles per hour no-passing zone, Sowell entered southbound traffic to pass other vehicles. When he saw an oncoming vehicle, deputies say he struck the back of an SUV, lost control of his bike and went back into the southbound lane, where he was ejected and suffered serious head trauma. 

According to PCSO, the bike continued forward, striking a 2014 Mazda CX 9 SUV and a PCSO unmarked 2019 Dodge Ram pickup truck, both of which were in the southbound lane.

All three vehicles that were struck by the motorcycle came to a stop, and none of their occupants were injured.

The PCSO lieutenant who was driving the Dodge truck immediately rendered aid and called for assistance over his radio. He was on duty at the time but not responding to any calls for service.

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Sowell was taken to an area hospital where he died. 

Investigators say excessive speed and passing into oncoming traffic on a curved roadway are suspected as contributing factors to the crash, but they are also looking into whether impairment played a role. 

Though the crash is under investigation, no criminal charges are expected.