BARTOW, Fla. - UPDATE: Autopsy report showed no medical problems. Read entire story here: http://wfts.tv/10ODI84
The tire tracks tell the deadly story. A sheriff's cruiser first veered off of the westbound lane of Bomber Road onto the shoulder, then crossed back into the oncoming traffic lane before making a sharp right turn over the road's edge into the woods.
Deputy Shane Robbins was killed when the car collided with an oak tree. Investigators are now trying to find out what led to the sudden loss of control.
"We were trying to get the hood open and stop that beep, beep," said Allen Turvin, who came running up to the car after hearing the crash.
"I tried to pry it open. We couldn't get it open," Turvin said.
It took emergency responders more than an hour to free Robbins from the wreckage. But he couldn't be saved.
"He was the father of five children," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "The community has suffered a loss, but his immediate family has suffered much more of a tragedy and a loss," Judd said.
Robbins, 40, was a 15-year veteran of the agency. The sheriff's office said Robbins made trips to the hospital to visit sick children, and helped change the tires for stranded motorists. Known as a "gentle giant," Robbins received 14 commendations during his career.
The sheriff's office recalled an incident on May 25th, 2008, when Robbins responded to a lawn mower accident involving a toddler. There's a picture showing Robbins visiting the girl, Chelsea, at the hospital.
But why his Chevy Impala ended up off the road and nearly severed in half remains a mystery. While several witnesses heard the crash, no one has come forward to describe exactly what happened. Deputies hope there may be someone who was driving the busy road that can provide insight into what caused the crash.