The Polk County Sheriff’s Traffic Unit is investigating a hit-and-run with serious bodily injury to a child that occurred in Lakeland this afternoon, and is seeking the public’s help to identify and locate the suspect vehicle. The photos seen here are of the suspect truck, taken just prior to the crash.
Around 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, Friday, September 1, 2017, an 11-year-old black female was walking westbound off the roadway, off the shoulder, of Idlewild Street near Leslie Drive in Lakeland, as seen by a female motorist (witness) who drove past the child. The witness then observed in her rearview mirror an older model white pickup truck approach the child, veer off the roadway onto the shoulder, and strike the child. The child went into the ditch on the side of the road, and the truck went back onto the roadway and behind the witness’ car.
The witness observed the driver of the suspect truck to be a white male in his 30s, with brown hair, wearing tinted glasses. As she prepared to slow down and follow him to get a better description for law enforcement, he abruptly sped off in the opposite direction, and onto Lake Parker Drive, heading southbound. The witness immediately then turned around and went to render aid to the victim.
The child was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa and has serious injuries.
The suspect vehicle is described as an older model two-door white Ford F-150, with what appears to be a black stripe or black tape on the hood (see attached photos). He was traveling between 30-35 MPH. The truck may be missing the passenger side mirror, and/or have damage to the front passenger headlamp area.
If anyone has information about this hit-and-run or sees the suspect truck, they are urged to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.