Wife of Reverend dies instantly after drunk driver smashes through Lakeland home

Posted at 8:12 AM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 05:41:34-04

A Reverend is mourning the loss of his wife of 53 years after a reportedly impaired driver crashed into their Lakeland home on Thursday morning, killing Janice Folds instantly. 

Deputies tell ABC Action News the accident happened at 4:48 a.m. 

A vehicle with "significant excessive speed" was traveling eastbound on Fitzgerald Road in South Lakeland. The driver lost control of the pick-up truck and crashed into the home on Orange Valley Drive. 

At the same time, Reverend Wyatt Folds and his wife, Janice, had just woken up and had started their morning routine. Janice Folds walked into the guest bedroom of the house when Rev. Folds said he wasn't "10 steps behind her" when a "bomb went off, total explosion." He said once he looked through the dust and the debris, he saw a truck sitting in his kitchen.

The truck had slammed into the house, through the guest bedroom, through the dining area and into the kitchen. At the time of the crash, Janice Folds was in the guest bedroom. She had just walked into the bedroom seconds before the crash. She was killed instantly. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. Deputies say the suspect was crawling out of the pick-up truck while Rev. Folds was looking for his wife. Neighbors stopped the suspect from leaving the scene of the accident. 

The suspect was identified as Ryan Tallent, 24, from Plant City. Sheriff Judd said this is not the first time Tallent has been in trouble with the law. He was arrested at the scene of the crash and charged with DUI manslaughter. More charges could be announced at a later time.

Deputies say Tallent "miserably failed" field sobriety tests while on scene of the crash and investigation into his impairment is underway.



"Ryan Tallent, with his recklessness, changed the life of this beautiful family forever and through the criminal justice system, we plan to change Ryan Tallent's life," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Reverend Folds and his wife, Janice Folds were married for 53 years. Sheriff Judd said "you can be sure that we will charge our suspect with everything that the law allows."