LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Two fatal crashes within 11 hours of each other on a stretch of Kathleen Road has police paying close attention to the windy, speed-prone area.
As Lt. Douglas Brown with the Lakeland Police Department points out, motorists are not NASCAR drivers.
“The danger is not being able to control that curve,” he said. “You’ll overdrive your abilities and leave the road way and that’s never a good thing.”
According to the police department, there have been eight fatal crashes, and one crash with serious bodily injury in Lakeland in the last three years.
The two most recent fatal crashes occurred this week on Kathleen Road.
The first was in the 1000 block of Kathleen Road Monday night at 9:43pm.
The 42-year old deceased driver was speeding, police said.
“He was traveling in excess of the speed limit to where he was unable to navigate the curve and ended up striking a tree pretty much head on,” said Lt. Brown.
At 8:45 the next morning, a 23-year old motorcyclist died after being hit by a vehicle turning onto Kathleen Road from Quincy Street.
Police are still investigating whether speed played a role in that crash.
“If people would just follow the speed limits, take a little more time in their day, prepare for little delays, we would not have half the accidents that we have,” said Lt. Brown.
After these tragedies, Lt. Brown deployed his select enforcement unit to the area.
In 90 minutes, they ticketed more than 10 drivers for going, on average, 15 miles per hour over the 45 mile per hour speed limit.
“It’s right there near the interstate,” Brown said. “It’s a little more rural. It’s not as congested as Florida Avenue. People think they can get a little faster, get a little more speed and try to beat that traffic.”
According to Brown, the area will continue to be a focus for patrols and speed checks, as it’s considered one of the three main corridors in the city.