LAKELAND, FL (August 7, 2022) – On Sunday, August 7, 2022, at approximately 2:30 a.m., officers responded to a traffic crash near Memorial Boulevard and the Interstate 4 access ramp. Prior to the crash, the driver of a 2005 Ford Expedition was traveling westbound on Memorial Boulevard. As the vehicle approached the access ramp, it left the roadway, slid through a grass median, and entered the eastbound travel lanes. As the driver attempted to correct and negotiate the curve, the vehicle struck a raised concrete median, causing the SUV to roll over multiple times. The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle.
The Lakeland Police Department Patrol Unit, Polk County Fire Rescue, and the Lakeland Fire Department arrived on the scene and began life-saving measures. The operator of the Ford, 20-year-old Jeison Gutierrez of Plant City, and a 31-year-old male passenger were transported to Lakeland Regional Health. The passenger, who was wearing a seatbelt, sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries. Later in the morning, Gutierrez succumbed to his injuries.
Members of the Traffic Homicide Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation. The roadway was shut down for approximately four hours while the scene was processed for the ongoing investigation. Speed appears to be a factor in the crash. Toxicology tests will also be conducted.
If anyone has any additional information regarding the crash, please contact investigating Officer Tyler Anderson at [email protected].