Polk deputies search for hit-and-run driver who killed wheelchair-pushing pedestrian

LAKELAND, Fla. - Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office Traffic Homicide division are looking for information in a fatal hit-and-run that happened Wednesday night near an Outback Steakhouse restaurant in South Lakeland.

Around 9:41 p.m., a male pedestrian, wearing a reflective vest and pushing a wheelchair, was crossing the sound bound lanes of S. Florida Ave. from the east to the west, near the entrance to the restaurant at 5255 S. Florida Avenue, Lakeland.  He was not walking in a crosswalk.

Just north of the victim, a red, four-door, Honda or Acura, was traveling southbound.    Witnesses said the car appeared to be speeding.  

The car struck the victim, sending the victim and the wheelchair several hundred feet after impact.  The victim died at the scene. 

The driver of the car slowed after the crash, but did not stop and left the area.

Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office Traffic Homicide Unit at 863.287.5552, or 863.298.6200.

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