Deputies: Suicidal driver intentionally crashes into other vehicles on busy highway in Polk County

Posted at 12:38 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 16:59:15-05

Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office say a suicidal man intentionally crashed into other vehicles on US Hwy 27 on Wednesday, prompting a deputy sheriff to use his patrol car to run the driver off of the road to save other drivers on the highway.

On Wednesday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office received a call about the suicidal man in Winter Haven. They say he had called the Pasco Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center earlier in the morning telling the dispatcher he wanted to kill himself.When deputies located the man sitting in his truck, he drove away and ended up driving southbound on US Hwy 27.

Deputies say he intentionally slammed into two separate vehicles while on the run. At least one person was transported to the hospital with injuries sustained in one of the two collisions.

A deputy sheriff who is trained in and an agency instructor for the precision immobilization technique (PIT), utilized the maneuver on the truck to eliminate the threat to other drivers on the highway. The technique caused the truck to leave the roadway and begin to roll. The driver was ejected from the truck because he did not have his seatbelt on. He was airlifted to LRHMC, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies are in the process of notifying next of kin.

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