The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is investigating a vehicle versus semi crash that occurred in north Lakeland this morning, which resulted in the death of the vehicle driver. Preliminary information is as follows:
Around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, May 3, 2021, the PCSO ECC received a 911 call from the area of US Hwy 98 approximately ½ mile north of Big Cypress Blvd, adjacent to Gator Creek Preserve. According to the witnesses and evidence, a 2000 white Honda Accord being driven by 64-year-old Joseph Moody of Lakeland was heading southbound when, for unknown reasons, it crossed over the center line into the northbound lane. A 1999 red Peterbuilt semi with a flatbed trailer hauling an 80-foot concrete power pole was heading northbound at the time. The semi driver, 44-year-old Dane Whitt of Lake Wales, saw the car and braked, pulling as far to the right as possible to avoid a collision. The semi ultimately stopped with its passenger tires on the shoulder of the road. The Accord struck the semi and trailer and Moody suffered fatal injuries. Whitt was not injured.
The roadway was closed for approximately three hours during the investigation, which is ongoing.