Lakeland man charged with DUI-manslaughter in fatal Polk County crash

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Lakeland man is facing felony charges in connection with a fatal crash along U.S. 98 in Polk County Tuesday morning.

Deputies say 34-year-old Joshua Waters of Lakeland was driving a pickup truck hauling a trailer southbound on U.S. 98 North, near State Road 471, when the trailer crossed into the northbound lane hitting a box truck that was heading north.


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According to investigators, Waters’ trailer became unstable and crossed over into the northbound lane and struck the box truck at the driver’s door.

The driver of the box truck, a 44-year-old Lakeland man, died at the scene.

His 18-year-old son from Tampa was also injured and remains in hospital with critical injuries.

See map of crash location below:

Deputies say indications are that the trailer being pulled may have been overweight and that may have contributed to the crash.

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Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said alcohol was also a factor.

“What is obvious is that the driver pulling the trailer was driving while impaired, and his actions resulted in a man being killed, and his adult son being critically injured,” Judd said.

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Waters faces charges of DUI-manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, and resisting arrest.

Deputies have not released the name of the driver who was killed or his injured passenger.

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Matt Reeser,

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.