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Traffic Homicide detectives from the Polk County Sheriff's Office have obtained security of the van suspected of fatally striking a bicyclist on Sunday, December 5, 2021, on 1st Street NW (Near Stroud Road) in the Kathleen area of Lakeland.
36-year old Antonio Adam Smiley was struck and seriously injured at around 6:13 PM as he rode his bicycle.
When deputies and members from Polk County Fire Rescue arrived on scene, Mr. Smiley was speaking to them. He was transported to a local hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, but passed away after arriving.
A witness of the crash described the vehicle that struck Mr. Smiley as a white, older-model, Ford E350 van, with a non-working right headlight. It is believed that the van has some damage to the right-front (passenger side) area.
Mr. Smiley had been travelling east on 1st Street NW, and was struck from behind by the van, which continued east as it sped away. Other witnesses rendered aid until first responders arrived.
Mr. Smiley was dressed in dark clothing, had no helmet on, and his bicycle was not equipped with lights.
"The driver of the van knew that a person was struck, and then made no effort to check on Mr. Smiley. He or she showed no concern for Mr. Smiley's condition. In fact, the only concern the driver had was to get away as quickly as possible. I can promise you, our detectives are going to do everything they can to find that van and the person responsible." - Grady Judd, Sheriff.
1st Street NW was closed for five hours, but the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding the crash, the van, and/or the driver, is asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 863-298-6200.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers:
* Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)
* From your cell phone, dial **TIPS
* Or visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on "Submit A Tip,"
* Or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet.
You will always remain anonymous when you send a tip through Crime Stoppers and you are eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.