Lakeland man killed after running in front of patrol car, officials say

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 44-year-old man was struck and killed Tuesday night after he ran in front of a patrol car in Bartow, authorities said.

The driver of the patrol car, Deputy Sheriff Forrest Scott, was not injured, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Thomas Morrison ran into the officer’s path as he was driving north on U.S. 98, just south of Old Eagle Lake Bartow Road.

Scott tried to avoid the collision by swerving, but hit Morrison, who suffered blunt force trauma. Deputies said Scott immediately notified dispatch and performed first aid. Then Morrison was rushed to Bartow Regional Medical Center, where he later died.

Investigators say Morrison was the same man who was seen walking in and out of traffic near the 1000 block of Highway 17 earlier that day, and that he spent time in the Polk County Jail in July and August of last year.

“There is no evidence at this point in the investigation of excessive speed or distracted driving,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “The crash remains under investigation.”

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