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One Lakeland Woman Killed & One Plant City Man Arrested In Fatal 8 Vehicle Crash

LAKELAND, FL (May 31, 2024) – On Thursday, May 30, 2024, at approximately 10:04 a.m., officers responded to assist the Plant City Police Department after a traffic crash occurred at the intersection of Harden Boulevard and South Frontage Road. In total the crash scene involved eight vehicles and eleven persons.

Evidence and witness statements indicated the Mercedes (Vehicle 1) entered the intersection on a solid red light and impacted the front of a black Ford SUV (Vehicle 2) which was traveling eastbound on South Frontage Road and attempting to turn left (north). A grey Subaru (Vehicle 8) was turning left in the adjacent lane to Vehicle 2 and was damaged by debris of the collision.

Post impact with Vehicle 2, Vehicle 1 continued and struck a raised concrete median then impacted the driver’s side of a dark colored Ford SUV (Vehicle 3). Vehicle 3 was pushed in an eastbound direction and impacted a grey Volkswagen (Vehicle 4) and a grey Honda (Vehicle 5). Post impact, Vehicle 5 impacted a black Chrysler (Vehicle 6) and a blue Chevrolet (Vehicle 7).

The driver of Vehicle 1 attempted to flee on foot and was taken into custody by Plant City and Lakeland Police officers.

Numerous other Lakeland Police Department Patrol Units responded, along with Polk County Fire Rescue, and the Lakeland Fire Department who all began life-saving measures. The driver of Vehicle 1, and the driver and passenger of Vehicle 2 were transported to transported to Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) for minor injuries. The driver of Vehicle 5 responded of his own accord to LRH for treatment of minor injuries. The driver of Vehicle 3 was transported to LRH where, despite the best efforts of medical professionals, she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.

The driver of Vehicle 1, James Gougeon (age 50) of Plant City, was charged with following crimes: Fleeing to Elude with Reckless High Speed involving Injury or Death (F1)(1 count), Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death (F1)(1 count), Knowingly Driving on a Suspended License with 3 or More Offenses (F3)(1 count), Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Injury (F3)(3 counts), Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Property Damage (M2)(4 Counts). Citations were also issued for Careless Driving, Expired Tag/Registration less than 6 months, and Fail to Stop at a Steady Red Signal.

The roadway was shut down for approximately 7.5 hours to process the scene for the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to contact Traffic Crash Investigator Officer Travis Payne at [email protected].

For questions related to law enforcement action prior to the crash, please contact Captain Alfed Van Duyne with the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200 or [email protected].

Vehicle 1 – Driver/Arrestee

James Edward Gougeon III

Age: 50

Plant City, FL

Vehicle 2 – Driver

Shaneka Ming Stewart

Age: 43

Lakeland, FL

Vehicle 2 – Passenger

Zion Townsend

Age: 25

Lakeland, FL

Vehicle 3 – Driver (Deceased)

Pamela Damewood

Age:73

Lakeland, FL

Vehicle 4 – Driver

Blanca Estrada

Age: 46

Lakeland, FL

Vehicle 4 – Passenger

Mia Estrada Roldan

Age: 18

Lakeland, FL

Vehicle 5 – Driver

Jack Darch

Age: 24

Mulberry, FL

Vehicle 6 – Driver

Cassandra Bachrodt

Age: 30

Mulberry, FL

Vehicle 6 – Passenger

Sawyer Bachrodt

Age: 8

Mulberry, FL

Vehicle 7 – Driver

Adam Watson

Age: 41

Lakeland, FL

Vehicle 8 – Driver

Amanda Farley

Age: 18

Lakeland, FL

author avatar
Carl Fish

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