Man charged with DUI manslaughter after overloaded trailer causes deadly crash, sheriff says

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Lakeland man has been arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter after a deadly crash, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

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Deputies said Joshua Waters, 34, was driving impaired on Tuesday when he caused a crash that killed a 44-year-old Lakeland man and critically injured the man’s 18-year-old son.

The crash occurred at around 7:37 a.m. on U.S. 98 North, about a mile north of State Road 471.

Deputies said Waters was driving south on U.S. 98 North in a pickup truck with an attached 16 feet dump body trailer when he crashed into the other driver going northbound.

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“At this point in the investigation, it appears that the trailer being pulled was overweight and improperly loaded, causing it to be unstable,” Judd said. “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.”

Witnesses told deputies that Waters’ trailer became unstable and crossed over into the northbound lane and struck the victim’s vehicle at the driver’s door.

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Deputies said Waters complained of general pain and was transported to a hospital for treatment. Deputies executed a search warrant for a blood sample, which will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for analysis.

Officials said the crash remains under investigation.

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