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Lakeland Man Arrested For DUI-Manslaughter After Two-Vehicle Crash Kills Other Driver

One man was killed and another critically injured Tuesday, December 28, 2021, as a result of a two-vehicle crash north of Lakeland, which was caused by one of the drivers being impaired.

A 44-year old Lakeland man died of head trauma at the scene. His passenger was his 18-year old son from Tampa who was critically injured and remains hospitalized.

The other driver, 34-year old Joshua Waters of Lakeland, was uninjured. He was arrested and charged with: DUI Manslaughter (F2), DUI Crash with Serious Bodily Injury (F3), DUI (M1), and Resisting (M1).

There were also two passengers in Waters’ vehicle and neither were injured.

PCSO deputies and members of Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the crash scene on U.S. 98 North, about a mile north of State Road 471 in unincorporated Lakeland, at about 7:37 AM.

Prior to the crash, Waters was travelling south on U.S. 98 North in a white 2006 Chevy 2500 pickup truck with an attached 16’ dump body trailer. 

The deceased victim was operating a 2015 Isuzu Box Truck in the northbound lane.

“At this point in the investigation, it appears that the trailer being pulled was overweight and improperly loaded, causing it to be unstable…that will be investigated further. What is obvious is that the driver pulling the trailer was driving while impaired, and his actions resulted in a man being killed, and his adult son being critically injured.”Grady Judd, Sheriff.

Evidence and witness statements indicate that Waters’ trailer became unstable and crossed over into the northbound lane and struck the box truck at the driver’s door.

During the investigation, Waters was determined to be impaired and was arrested. Waters complained of generalized pain and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Deputies executed a search warrant for a blood sample which will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for analysis.

The Florida Department of Transportation assisted at the scene with traffic control, and the roadway was closed for approximately eight hours.

The crash remains under investigation. 

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