On February 10, 2021, at around 12:40 p.m., deputies responded to a fatal two-vehicle crash that occurred on Main Street near Fairway Avenue in unincorporated Lakeland. The crash killed 68-year-old Karla Ward of Lakeland.
Ward was the driver of a tan 2008 Hyundai Sonata.
The second vehicle involved was a gray Ford Explorer Sport Trac, driven by 44-year-old Jason Howell of Auburndale.
According to the preliminary investigation so far, Howell was traveling eastbound on Main Street, while Ward was travelling westbound on the same roadway. Howell’s Ford Explorer crossed the lane divider into the westbound lane and struck the front left side of Ward’s Sonata.
When emergency responders arrived on scene, Ward was entrapped inside her vehicle and died at the scene.
Howell sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
At the time of the crash, Ward was wearing her seatbelt, but Howell was not wearing his seatbelt.
The roadway was closed for approximately four hours during the investigation. This investigation is ongoing