Watch News Channel 8 on Great 38

Soldier injured helping scooter rider hit by car in Lakeland speaks out

Polk County

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested one driver, and deputies are still looking for a second who left the scene after hitting a woman who was riding a scooter. 

“To me, that shows no courage, no heart. That’s not what a human being is supposed to do,” Kalen Lawson told News Channel Eight.

Lawson – the hero who did have courage, who risked his life – is finally out of the hospital after the crash last week.

“I broke my fibula and my tibia in three different places,” Lawson said.

He is home on leave from the Army and was supposed to head back to Fort Hood Texas after three days. Lawson and a friend, Markel Grant, saw the crash on Galloway road last week and rushed to help.

“I was asking her just do anything, like move anything, make any noise, make any sound that you can. Let me know that you’re ok,” Lawson said. “Once I said that she reached out and she grabbed my hand and basically said ‘please don’t leave me, please don’t let me go.’ And I basically told her, ‘I’m not going to let you go, ma’am.'” 

A local rapper, 28-year-old Corey Jones, has been arrested. Jones is also known as “DB da Kid.” Investigators seized his SUV as part of the investigation.

Witnesses said he hit Kelli Back on her scooter and left the scene.

Lawson didn’t let go until moments later, when a second driver ran over the woman and killed her, and badly broke Lawson’s leg.

“She was speaking to us. She would have definitely survived if that second car hadn’t showed up. She would have gotten help and gone to the hospital, and I truly believe she would be alive today,” Lawson said.

Blacks’ family visited him in the hospital to thank him for what he did.

Lawson now has a message for the driver who left them for dead.

“A family should not have to hear hat their mother died in the middle of the road. There’s nothing left for you to do. Just turn yourself in,” he said.

Deputies are still searching for the second driver, believed to be a newer white or light-colored Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Anyone with any information that can help investigators is asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at (863) 298-6200.

Those with information who wish to remain anonymous and/or be eligible for a cash reward from Heartland Crime Stoppers may call 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) or go to to leave a tip. Those with smartphones may download a free P3tips app linked from the website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss