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Pedestrian dies after being hit by Polk County deputy's patrol car

Posted at 9:50 PM, Feb 25, 2020

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A pedestrian died after being hit by a patrol car driven by a Polk County deputy on Tuesday night.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says 44-year-old Thomas Morrison died after being taken to Bartow Regional Medical Center. Morrison ran into the path of the deputy's vehicle on U.S. 98 in Bartow just before 8 p.m., the sheriff's office says.

The deputy tried to swerve out of the way, but the sheriff's office says Morrison's head and body hit the passenger side windshield. According to authorities, the Bartow Police Department was called at 6:08 p.m. about a white male wearing dark clothing walking in and out of traffic. Officers responded and made contact with the man, who was identified as Morrison.

The sheriff's office says Morrison was not in a crosswalk at the time, and there appears to be no evidence of excessive speed or distracted driving.

Morrison spent time in the Polk County Jail on two previous occasions, and the sheriff's office says he was placed on suicide watch both times.