The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is investigating a multi-vehicle crash that occurred around 2:15 a.m. this morning, June 20, 2021, on Ellis Avenue just east of Park Street in Unincorporated Lakeland which resulted in the death of 22-year-old Teresa Hammond of Lakeland. Hammond was the passenger of a 2003 gray Ford Focus.
According to the preliminary information, the Ford Focus, with its lights turned off, was parked in the north side lane of Ellis Avenue and was facing east. 23-year-old Marquist Westbrooks of Tampa was sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle; Hammond was sitting in the front passenger seat.
54-year-old Lisa Breeding of Lakeland was driving a 2001 gray Buick Century. Breeding was traveling westbound on Ellis Avenue at a high rate of speed when her Buick Century hit the front passenger side of the Ford Focus. The impact caused the Ford Focus to spin counter-clockwise in a northwestward direction and hit an unoccupied 2016 black Ford Dart which was parked in a driveway. Hammond was partially ejected from the vehicle.
As Breeding’s car continued to travel in a southwestward direction, it hit an unoccupied 2009 gray Chevrolet Malibu which was parked in a neighboring driveway. The impact caused the Malibu to hit an unoccupied and parked 2007 white Nissan Murano, also in a neighboring driveway.
Hammond died at the scene. Westbrooks sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital. He is in stable condition. Neither were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Breeding sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. She was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
The roadway was closed approximately 4 hours during the investigation. This investigation is ongoing.