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Date of Issue: January 06, 2010

Bradenton resident, 79, dies in causeway collision

A 79-year-old Bradenton resident who owned rental property on North Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria died the evening of Jan. 1 in a two-car accident on Manatee Avenue that shut down the Anna Maria Island Bridge and Palma Sola Causeway for more than two hours.

Frank Walwer swerved his 2004 Mercury Sable into the westbound lane on Manatee Avenue, and into the path of a westbound tanker truck, where the two collided head-on at 4:32 p.m., according to a Bradenton Police Department report. A witness said Walwer was travelling 40-45 mph.

Walwer was flown by medical helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center, where he died at 7 p.m.

Those from the Island heading to Bradenton were forced to turn south and take a loop from Gulf Drive to Cortez Road.

Conversely, those headed from Bradenton to the Island on the causeway were turned around on the causeway near the accident. The bridge and the causeway re-opened to motorists at approximately 7:55 p.m.

The truck driver, Alfred Sevengy, 57, who drives for Blue Septic Tank Service, suffered minor injuries and was treated at Manatee Memorial Hospital. Fire crews cleaned 40-50 gallons of diesel fuel from the roadway, according to the BPD report.