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Man dies after crashing pickup truck into police SUV and through Lakeland building

South Florida Avenue was shut down for five hours while police investigated.

LAKELAND, Fla. — A man is dead after he crashed his pickup truck into a Lakeland police SUV and through a building early Wednesday morning, according to the Lakeland Police Department.

It happened just after 6 a.m. at the Waller Centre on South Florida Avenue. The building was unoccupied at the time.

Police said a 52-year-old man was driving his silver Ford F-150 truck northbound on South Florida Avenue while a Lakeland police SUV and a Mitsubishi SUV were heading southbound.

According to witnesses, the man began to speed past another car when he entered the center lane against the solid yellow, no-passing lane.

That's when the man crashed his truck into both the police SUV and the Mitsubishi before continuing off the roadway and into the Waller Centre, police said.

Polk County Fire Rescue and the Lakeland Fire Department arrived to assist officers in beginning life-saving measures. The driver died at the scene.

Both the Lakeland police officer and the Mitsubishi driver were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Credit: Sky 10
Pickup truck crashes into Waller Centre in Lakeland

Aerial footage from Sky10 showed the back half of the truck sticking out of the Waller Centre surrounded by tires and debris.

The crash shut down South Florida Avenue for five hours for the investigation, which is ongoing.

Anyone with additional information about the crash is asked to contact Officer Camilo Almeida at Camilo.almeida@lakelandgov.net.  

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