Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-vehicle crash Wednesday evening, June 30, 2021, on North Combee Road at Tanglewood Street in unincorporated Lakeland.
The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received the first 911-call regarding a fiery collision between a semi-truck and car at about 7:22 PM.
Bystanders at the scene managed to pull the driver out of his burning car, while the driver of the truck was able to exit his vehicle without injury.
Upon the arrival of Polk County Fire Rescue personnel, the driver of the car was determined to be deceased. He was identified as 25-year old Etiel Diaz of Lakeland.
The truck driver was identified as 66-year old Guillermo Solorzano of Lakeland.
The PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit responded to assume control of the investigation and was joined by the Crime Scene Unit.
According to the preliminary investigation, Mr. Diaz was driving a black 2012 Volkswagen 2-door, and Mr. Solorzano was driving a green 2014 Freightliner semi-truck with a 53-foot trailer hauling tires.
The evidence and witness statements revealed that Mr. Diaz was driving north on North Combee Road, while Mr. Solorzano’s semi-truck was southbound, and the vehicles were approaching the intersection of Tanglewood Street (a T-intersection which heads west off of North Combee Road).
Mr. Diaz’s car began to slide into the southbound lanes, and the semi-truck crashed into the passenger-side of the Volkswagen.
Post-impact, the semi-truck pushed the Volkswagen about 75-feet as the truck came to a stop, and both vehicles caught on fire.
The area had experienced rainfall just prior to the crash, and it is believed that Mr. Diaz was attempting to make a turn onto Tanglewood Street when the car began to slide.
North Combee Road was closed in both directions for approximately four hours.
No charges are anticipated but a final determination is pending completion of the investigation.