PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN TRAFFIC CRASH
LAKELAND, FL (April 18, 2021) – On Saturday, April 17, 2021, at approximately 10:35 p.m., a Chevrolet Malibu was traveling southbound on US 98 North in the outside lane of travel, approaching the traffic light at the Interstate 4 overpass. The driver, 23-year-old Oppheus Williams, had begun slowing down for the red light. As he approached the intersection, the traffic light turned green, and Williams then began to accelerate. At the same time, a pedestrian attempting to cross the roadway crossed in front of Williams’ vehicle and was struck. Williams stopped and remained at the scene. This area of US 98 North does not have a marked crosswalk for pedestrian traffic.
Emergency medical professionals from the Lakeland Fire Department and Polk County Fire Rescue arrived on the scene to begin life-saving measures. The pedestrian, later identified as 48-year-old Blanca Amaya, was transported to Lakeland Regional Health, where she was pronounced deceased by medical staff.
Members of the Traffic Homicide Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation. The roadway was shut down for approximately 3 1/2 hours while the scene was processed for any follow-up investigation. At this time, the investigation is ongoing.
Operator of the Chevrolet: