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Polk Ambulance Slams Into Old Proud Gators Store In Lakeland

Unedited Updated Press Release From Polk County Sheriff’s Office

“ In response to your inquiries, here is the information from the traffic crash report on Friday night:


11:43 p.m., August 11, 2023

South Florida Avenue and Patterson Street East in Lakeland


Vehicle 1 (2018 ambulance belonging to Polk County Fire Rescue) was traveling southbound on S Florida Ave with lights and sirens responding to a call for service. While V1 was traveling southbound an unknown vehicle was unable to yield to the right due to the concrete medians and V1 turned into the middle lane of S Florida Ave to pass the unknown vehicle when V1 saw a center concrete median and attempted to maneuver around but struck the median with the front left tire and began to lose control. 


After striking the center median V1 continued in a southbound direction on S Florida Ave and struck the right shoulder median with both right front and rear tires causing V1 to be redirected towards the northbound lanes in a south east direction of S Florida Ave. V1 struck the west side wall of the business located 700 S Florida Ave in Lakeland where it came to a final rest.


Witness 1 (W1) stated V1 was traveling southbound with lights and sirens on S Florida Ave when W1 observed an unknown vehicle that was unable to yield for V1. W1 stated V1 went around the unknown vehicle and struck the center median and then V1 struck the right shoulder median losing control and colliding with the business. The unknown vehicle that was unable to yield was not on scene and continue driving southbound on S Florida Ave.


Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported Driver 1 (D1), passenger 2 (P2), passenger 3(P3), and passenger 4 (P4) to Lakeland Regional Health.


D1 was treated on scene for minor injuries. 

P2 was seated on the front right passenger seat and was treated for a minor hand fracture.

P3 was seated in the front middle seat and was treated for fractured ribs and tibia.

P4 was seated in the rear seat located in the back compartment and was treated on scene for minor injuries.


Polk County Fire Rescue contacted a wrecker and Stepp’s Towing responded to the scene. I determined V1 to be the violator vehicle.”

————Initial Article ———-

Polk County Fire Rescue Ambulance involved in single vehicle accident late Friday night. The accident occurred when the ambulance ran into and partially through the old Proud Gators store.

The call was received at 11:50 p.m on Friday, August 11, 2023 regarding an ambulance that crashed into a building. Polk County Fire Rescue unit MR002 was involved. The location is South Florida Avenue at Patterson Street East. South Florida from Moss Wood Road to Palmetto was shut down. One crew member of that unit reported an injury to an arm, the other member reported injuries to face and arm. We can confirm that there was actually 4 Polk County Fire Rescue employees transported for medical care. This is an increase of two occupants compared to our earlier reporting. We have not had any confirmation at this time, but believe one may have been a trauma alert and suffered more than minor injuries.

This occurred in the city of Lakeland but due to the fact that the ambulance is a county vehicle, the county requested that PCSO respond. Lakeland Fire/EMS transported patients.

PCSO cleared the scene at 3:38 a.m. this morning.

As of this time details are still coming in regarding the accident. We will update as more information is available

author avatar
Carl Fish

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