AUBURNDALE, Fla. (WFLA) — Two people are dead after a crash in Auburndale on Wednesday, according to authorities.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the wreck happened at 4:07 p.m. on Berkley Road at the intersection of Oak Crossing Blvd.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, detectives tried to stop a motorcycle when they noticed the registration tag did not match. The driver took off when the detective turned on their emergency lights. The detective turned off the lights and stopped following the motorcycle when they realized it was speeding away.
The motorcycle continued speeding and slammed into the side of a van that was turning in an intersection. The motorcycle riders were ejected and landed inside of the van.
The sheriff’s office identified the deceased in a press release. The two people on the motorcycle, Michael Hamilton, 50, of Lakeland and Jeana Wright, 46, of Auburndale were killed in the crash.
The driver of the van, a 79-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital, where she remained in stable condition on Thursday. Her 20-year-old passenger was not hurt.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Michael Hamilton had an “extensive arrest history”, including two convictions for fleeing police. His driver’s license was revoked at the time of the crash. His criminal history includes four arrests for grand theft motor vehicle, driving without a license and causing death or serious injury, theft, trespassing and numerous drug possessions.
“Two witnesses confirmed that the motorcycle passed them at a high rate of speed, and there were no law enforcement vehicles or emergency lights in sight, and they heard no sirens. Detectives recognized right away that Hamilton was being reckless, so they disengaged,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “He fled from law enforcement one time too many; this time it cost him his life. Had Hamilton survived the crash, he would have been charged with the death of his passenger.”