Pedestrian struck in killed near Lake Hamilton Sunday night
Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Lake Hamilton area Sunday night, February 21, 2021, following the report of a vehicle-pedestrian collision at about 9:34 PM on Kokomo Road near Hughes Road.
Upon arrival by deputies, members of Polk County Fire Rescue, and Lake Hamilton police, the pedestrian was found lying in the roadway and determined to be deceased. He was identified as 61-year-old Todd Lucas of Lakeland.
The vehicle that struck Mr. Lucas was a green 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, driven by 24-year-old Felipe Resendiz, Jr. of Haines City. He was not injured and remained on scene for the investigation.
According to the preliminary investigation, Mr. Resendiz was driving east on Kokomo Road when he struck Mr. Lucas, who was walking east and about 1 ½ to 2-feet inside of the white fog line.
Mr. Resendiz told investigators that he didn’t see Mr. Lucas until he was within about five feet from him.
At the time of the crash, it was dark outside; there is no street lighting in that area. Mr. Lucas was wearing dark clothing and was walking on the wrong side of the roadway with his back to approaching traffic.
It was determined that Mr. Resendiz was driving with a revoked driver’s license and is designated as a Habitual Traffic Offender. He was arrested at the scene and transported to the Polk County Jail where he was charged with Driving without a License-Crash Causing Death.
Kokomo Road was closed in both directions for about three hours while the PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit conducted their investigation, which remains ongoing.