POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 36-year-old Sebring man died as a result of an ATV crash on New Year’s morning, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said Christopher Mears, 36, of Sebring, was driving a 2017 Honda ATV with friends near the 300 block of Lake Kotsa Drive in unincorporated Lake Wales when he failed to negotiate a right-hand curve.
Based on evidence and statements taken at the scene, deputies determined the ATV drove off the road and into a drainage ditch sending Mears into the shallow water of the ditch.
There, deputies said it appeared Mears drowned.
When investigating the crash, deputies found an empty beer can at the scene and noted a strong smell of alcohol coming from Mears.
“Excessive speed and impairment appear to be factors in the crash,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.
The roadway was closed for approximately three hours during the investigation, which remains ongoing.