Polk County

Speed was a factor: Driver killed, passenger seriously injured in rollover crash, police say

LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland police are investigating a fatal crash involving a single SUV that crashed and rolled over multiple times.

The crash happened Sunday, around 2:30 a.m. near Memorial Boulevard and the Interstate 4 access ramp.

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Police said a 2005 Ford Expedition was traveling westbound on Memorial Boulevard and for an unknown reason, left the roadway, slid through a grass median, and entered the eastbound travel lanes.

According to a news release, the driver attempted to correct and negotiate the curve and then hit a concrete median, causing the SUV to roll over multiple times.

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The driver, 20-year-old Jeison Gutierrez of Plant City, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. Gutierrez was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries.

The 31-year-old passenger, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

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According to police, speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

Toxicology tests will also be conducted, police said.

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