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Lehigh driver dies after swerving to avoid bicyclists

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Posted at 12:01 PM, Feb 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 07:24:50-05

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. -- One person is dead and another suffered critical injuries after a crash on Joel Boulevard near 12th Street on Saturday.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, a 2001 Honda Accord slammed into a tree shortly after 8 p.m.

Troopers say its driver was headed south on Joel Boulevard and changed lanes to avoid slower traffic.  That's when he saw two bicyclists headed north along the edge of the southbound lanes.

The driver swerved to avoid them, then overcorrected, causing the car to enter the grass shoulder and jump a ditch before hitting a pine tree.

The driver, 22-year-old Nelson Oneill Portalatin of Lehigh Acres, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His passenger, 24-year-old Sallesky Marrero of Lehigh Acres, was suffered critical injures and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.

Charges are pending in the case.