A Lakeland woman and a Winter Haven man died around 4:15 a.m. Sunday when their cars collided head-on on U.S. 98 near State Road 471 in northern Polk County, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Todd Grau, 37, of Winter Haven, was southbound in his 2005 Saab when he attempted to pass another vehicle and collided with the northbound 2003 Mercury Sable driven by Marie Telfort, 41, of Lakeland, the Sheriff’s Office said based on evidence and witness statements.

Neither driver had a passenger, and both died at the scene, deputies said. The road was closed for nearly five hours.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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