One dead after vehicle crashes into building as result of road rage incident in Polk County

HIGHLAND CITY, Fla. — One person is dead after a vehicle crashed into a building in Highland City as a result of an apparent road rage incident. 

The vehicle crashed into a building at US Highway 98 South and Hancock Avenue SE at approximately 11:15 a.m. Friday. No one in the building was injured as a result of the crash.

The building is used to house a pediatric doctor's office but is now being renovated. 

Deputies are searching for any witnesses to the crash. They say the crash involved a silver Dodge pickup truck and a black Acura car that were both heading south on 98 and the road rage may have started at Clubhouse Road in Lakeland.

Sheriff Grady Judd says the two vehicles were crossing lanes back and forth in front of each other when they collided at Cypress and Highway 98. The cars pushed to the west side of the road and hit a commercial building. Daniel Bagwell's vehicle slid along the building and through a plastic fence. Bagwell, 27, was impaled by the plastic fence and taken to Lakeland Regional where he later died. 

Brondon Manning, 22, was the driver of the other vehicle. Manning did not suffer any injuries. 

James Dukes lives in a home just steps away from the crash. Also inside were his daughter and two babies.

"I was afraid to move until all the noise stopped," Dukes said.

A 2-month-old was in a swing by the window.

“If they hit the way, it could have fallen in or anything," he said.

Dukes is a retired paramedic. He grabbed gloves as soon as he saw the crash and went outside to help.

He said he tried to get a pulse from Bagwell, but he was already dead.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Judd says this is another reminder to be safe on the roads.

"If someone tries to engage you in a road rage, just slow down, back off the speedometer. Let ‘em go," said Judd.

If you witnessed the crash, please call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 863-298-6200.

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