GROVELAND, Florida—The young man killed in the head-on crash with a semi on State Road 33 in Groveland Wednesday has been identified as a Polk County detention deputy, by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO.)
Drake Sawyer Perry, 22, of Ocoee, was driving a 2014 Mazda 3 northbound on State Road 33 near Double H Lane when he veered into the southbound lane and struck a 2014 Volvo semi-truck head-on being driven by a 32-year-old man from Duluth, Georgia at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. The semi then hit the rear left of a 2018 Hyundai Elantra, being driven by a 34-year-old Clermont woman, according to Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Tara Crescenzi.
Perry was pronounced dead on the scene and the driver of the truck was transported to Orlando Health South Lake Hospital in Clermont with serious injuries. The Clermont woman and her passenger were not injured, Crescenzi said.
Perry was dual-certified as a detention deputy and law enforcement officer and began working for PCSO in December 2022. He was off-duty at the time of the crash.
“We are all grieving at the loss of this young deputy who was just starting out in his career. Deputy Perry was an outstanding cadet in the academy, and his classmates and coworkers remember him as always smiling, always positive, and a team player who was always helping others. He was a natural born leader and aspired to be on the SWAT team. He will be greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers,” PCSO Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.
The crash remains under investigation.