On February 10, at 7:50 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a crash at S.R. 33 (HWY 33 N) at the intersection of Combee Road. The intersection is controlled by flashing traffic signals and posted signs. A vehicle driven by John M Zelle was northbound on S.R. 33. A vehicle driven by Clara C. Barber was westbound on Combee Road and turned in front of the vehicle driven by Zelle. It appeared to investigators that Barber was trying to make a left turn to head southbound on SR 33 when she proceeded into the path of Zelle who was driving a mini-van.
The collision resulted in the death of the right front passenger in Barbers vehicle. The deceased has been identified as Ricky Osborn Barber and he was pronounced deceased on the scene by a Lakeland Fire Department Paramedic. Next-of-kin has been notified. Ricky Barber did not have his seat belt on at the time of the traffic crash. The driver, Clara Barber was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC) to be treated. Her condition is unknown at this time.
The driver of the mini-van, John Zelle was transported to LRMC for non-life threating injuries. A passenger in his vehicle, Eddy Fernandez sustained minor injuries and was treated at LRMC and later released.
No charges have been filed and this crash is still under investigation.
Vehicle #1 – 2013 Dodge Avenger, 4door. Driven by Clara C. Barber
Deceased – Ricky O. Barber
Vehicle #2 – 1997 Chrysler Mini-van, driven by John M. Zella
Passenger in Vehicle #2 – Eddy E. Fernandez