A three-vehicle crash near Lakeland Tuesday night, June 17, 2020, resulted in the deaths of two men.
At about 8:08 pm, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office dispatched deputies to Combee Road, just north of Centurion Drive.
Three men in three different vehicles were involved. The two men who were killed at the scene were identified as 39-year-old Derek Faircloth of Ocala, and 31-year-old Justin Parks of Lakeland. The third man involved was 57-year-old Bevan Tapper of Fort Lauderdale. He was not injured in the crash.
According to the preliminary investigation, Tapper was driving a white 2020 Kenworth semi-tractor south on Combee Road. Behind the semi-truck was Parks, in a white 2002 GMC pick-up truck. Faircloth was driving north in a white 2020 Toyota 4Runner.
Evidence and witnesses indicate that Faircloth’s Toyota crossed the center line and glanced off of the trailer of the semi-truck. The Toyota then struck Parks’ GMC head-on, which caused the pick-up truck to catch on fire.
At this time, it is unknown what caused Faircloth’s vehicle to strike both vehicles.
Faircloth has had a revoked driver’s license since 2013.
During the investigation of the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol arrived on the scene and indicated that Faircloth’s Toyota had been involved in a hit-and-run crash on I-4 earlier in the day.
Combee Road was closed for about five hours during the investigation, which is ongoing.