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Crash With Injury Near McLaughlin School Reminder of Risks Everywhere

Two Vehicles Destroyed After School Hours

Failure to yield the right-of-way resulted in a crash with injuries on 4th Street at the edge of the McLaughlin Middle/High School campus recently. The incident happened at approximately 6 p.m. after the school zone had cleared for the day.

News staff

The impact of a crash on 4th Street knocked the front wheel completely free from this vehicle. Three occupants, including the driver, Laken Taylor Upchurch, and her two children, escaped injury, but the other driver was transported by EMS to AdventHealth Lake Wales. Upchurch was cited for a right-of-way violation.

The incident happened when a vehicle driven by a woman identified by Lake Wales Police as Laken Taylor Upchurch was driving westbound on Grove Avenue in a 2019 Ford Expedition and "slowed" for a stop sign before entering the path of a 2004 Buick LeSabre driven by Pearlie Dawson Banks. Banks was northbound on 4th Street, which is a through-street for several blocks between Winston Avenue as SR 60.

The impact tore the right front wheel from the Expedition, and the two vehicles spun causing a second impact and further damage to both at the rear.

Upchurch had two children in her vehicle at the time, but all occupants escaped injury.

News staff

This Buick was a total loss following a crash at 4th Street and Grove Avenue, at the edge of the McLaughlin School campus. Lake Wales Police charged Laken Taylor Upchurch with violation of right-of-way after she drove into the path of the Buick, which was traveling north on 4th Street.

Banks was transported by EMS to AdventHealth Lake Wales with minor injuries. Both vehicles appeared to be destroyed in the crash.

Upchurch was cited by the Lake Wales Police crash investigator for failure to yield when entering an intersection.


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