MANATEE - A soda bottle lodged under a brake pedal helped cause a three-vehicle collision and a serious injury at 3:18 p.m. Sunday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP Trooper Rony Refuse reported a 2001 Lincoln Navigator driven by 34-year-old Brandy Nicole Fransworth of Bradenton was southbound on Ninth Street East approaching 33rd Avenue East when she could not brake to avoid a collision with a 2006 Honda Italia stopped in traffic by a 28-year-old Bradenton man.
The Navigator rear-ended the Italia and the driver fell to the ground. Pushed by the Navigator, the Italia struck the rear end of a 2006 Kia Sedona driven by a 76-year-old Sarasota woman.
The Italia overturned on its left side and came to rest facing south in the southbound lane. The Navigator and Sedona stopped facing south.
The driver of the Italia was hospitalized in crfitical condition at Blake Medical Center. He was not wearing a helmet.
There were no other injuries. Fransworth was charged with careless driving.
The FHP reports alcohol was not suspected as a cause of the accident.