The PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit responded to a single motorcycle fatality this morning on Rockridge Road in north Lakeland, just west of the intersection with U.S. Hwy 98. Around 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2023, the ECC received a 911 call regarding the crash when a passerby spotted the motorcycle and adult male on the ground.
According to the girlfriend of the motorcyclist, who was 40-year-old Ronel Edward Kirkland II of Country Side Drive in Lakeland, he left her home around 1:00 a.m. this morning on his 2002 black and red Kawasaki motorcycle to go get a tool and she never heard from him after that. It appears that he failed to negotiate the left curve, and the bike went off the north shoulder of the roadway. The bike traveled across a small ditch, at which time Kirkland was ejected, striking a hog wire fence. It appears his head struck the fence post, and he was not wearing a helmet.
A photo from the scene is attached. Per normal protocol, the bike was placed upright by investigators to avoid fuel leaking into the ground.
Lakeland, Florida – Polk County Sheriff’s Office is currently on scene of a fatal crash on US Hwy 98 at Rockridge Rd. Rockridge Rd is closed all the way to Sherrouse Rd. Please choose alternate routes.
The crash involves a single motorcycle that ran off the road by failing to negotiate a curve, and ended in a field. The motorcyclist is deceased. The road will be open soon. No other people or vehicles were involved.