At approximately 9:15 pm, on Sunday, August 9, 2015, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies received information about a single car crash on Imperial Lakes Boulevard in the Imperial Lake Subdivision in Mulberry. The initial report was that the driver was deceased. Polk County Fire Rescue responded and confirmed the driver, 16-year-old Jason Ty Smith, Fairway Oaks Circle, Mulberry, had died at the scene. Smith was operating a 2006, silver Toyota Scion
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide deputies responded and assumed the investigation. Initial details indicated Smith accelerated rapidly southwest on Imperial Lakes Boulevard from a stop. Evidence from the scene indicate Smith traveled approximately 200 feet from the south side of the Imperial Lakes Boulevard -Tigereye Court intersection when it appears he lost control and the Scion began to rotate clockwise as it travelled in a southwesterly direction.
At about 450 feet, the Scion exited the right (west) side of the roadway and struck a utility pole on the driver’s door. The utility pole was snapped in half as a result of this impact. After striking the pole, the vehicle continued southwest about 50 additional feet travelling through a PVC fence and striking a tree. It came to final rest adjacent to the tree, on its roof facing south.
Smith was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash and the vehicle’s airbags did deploy.
Another set of acceleration marks were found in the inside (left) lane of Imperial Lakes Boulevard adjacent to Smith’s marks. There were no witnesses to the crash to confirm if another vehicle was present at the time or if these had already been on the roadway.
There was no evidence of the Scion being struck by another vehicle.
Speed appears to be a factor in this crash. No signs of impairment were noticed at the scene. Distraction and the presence of another vehicle are still under investigation.
The southbound lanes of Imperial Lakes Boulevard were closed for approximately seven hours due to the crash investigation and replacement of the utility pole.
Anyone with information about this traffic crash investigation is urged to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863.298.6200.