Loughman, Florida – The Polk County Sheriffs Office work a pedestrian vs vehicle crash around 11pm Friday evening at 17/92 and approximately 75 Yards South of Parker Road, in Loughman, Florida. Polk County Fire/Medics, as well as PCSO Northeast District Patrol responded. Upon arrival it was determined that the pedestrian, Benjamie Robinson, was deceased. The Driver of the Vehicle, Kiara Mari Rijos-Melendez, and her passenger were not injured and remained on scene.
Interviews and evidence at the scene indicated that a 2016, Red Chevrolet Cruz sedan, was northbound on US 17/92, just south of the intersection with Parker Road. The vehicle occupants indicated that it was dark and that a dog ran from the west side of the roadway to east in front of them. As the driver was slowing, they felt a thump, which was the pedestrian, Mr. Robinson. There were no tire marks on the shoulder near the point of impact indicating the vehicle did not leave the roadway. The pedestrian was wearing dark clothing. Mr. Robinson is believed to either own a dog or care for one in the neighborhood, which he may have been trying to catch.
Evidence suggests the victim was along the east edge of the travel lane when he was hit. Excessive speed does not appear to be a factor in this crash. The driver was evaluated by a DUI unit and displayed no signs of impairment. Both occupants of the car were seat belted. The airbags in vehicle did not deploy. US 17/92 was closed in both directions for approximately 3 hours.