MANATEE — The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the 35-year-old man killed in a crash late Monday.
Charles Robbins of Bradenton died when the 1993 Lexus he was driving was struck from behind, careened off the road and slammed into a power pole. The accident happened about 10:30 p.m. in the 4600 block of 69th Street East, at Interstate 75 in Palmetto, according to FHP reports.
A 25-year-old woman riding in Robbins' car was seriously injured. Two people in the other vehicle were not injured.
Robbins applied his brakes as a 2005 Ford four-door approached from behind at a high rate of speed. The Ford slammed into the back of the Lexus, causing Robbins to lose control, according to FHP reports.
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Distraught friends spoke of Robbins with affection.
“He was like my big brother,” said Sarah Goldsmith. “My 7-year-old son saw him as an uncle. This is a really difficult time.”
FHP Lt. Chris Miller declined to release any information on the circumstances surrounding the crash, other than to say because there was a death, a criminal investigation was ongoing.
The passenger in the Lexus was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in serious condition but has since been released, Goldsmith said.
“She is doing well, but is still shaken up,” Goldsmith said.