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Motorcyclist killed in Lakeland crash

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Lakeland police are currently investigating the death of a motorcyclist.

Around 8:39 p.m. Saturday, Lakeland police responded to a serious traffic crash located at 5000 US Highway 98 North.

Police say prior to the crash, a blue Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle, driven by 31-year-old Valentine Dasent, was traveling southbound on US 98 N., in the inside lane, and a red Ford Escape, driven by 74-year-old Linda Diane Halifax, was traveling north on US 98 N., in the left turn lane.

According to witnesses, as Dasent approached the 5000 block of US 98 N., he began to accelerate at a high speed. The front wheel lifted off the road and merged into the center lane. At the same time, police say Halifax began making a u-turn and traveled into the outside southbound lane.

As the Suzuki’s front wheel landed on the road, Dasent lost control and the motorcycle hit the left rear part of Halifax’s Ford Escape.

Dasent was ejected, sliding to a final rest in the center lane. Halifax came to a stop just off the west side of the roadway.

Lakeland police, Polk County Fire Rescue and Lakeland Fire Department arrived to the scene and started life-saving measures on Dasent. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The roadway was shut down for three and a half hours as the scene was investigated.

The crash remains an open and active investigation.

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