PCSO Is Investigating a Fatal Head On Collission on HWY 17/92 in Lake Alfred
DATE/TIME OF INCIDENT: 01/06/2020 at approximately 2127 hours
LOCATION OF INCIDENT: Highway 17 92 approximately 100 feet east of Friendly Court Lake Alfred
Deceased: Tammi Hillman, 51, Tampa
Other driver: Keeli Gonzalez, 19 , Haines City
Vehicle (Hillman): 2003, Red Buick Regal
Vehicle (Gonzalez): 2010, Red Ford Fusion
On January 6, 2020 at approximately 9:27 pm, a two vehicle crash on Highway 17 92 approximately 100 feet east of Friendly Court in Lake Alfred, Florida (between Lake Alfred and Haines City). Polk County Fire/Medics and Northeast District Patrol responded to render aid. Prior to arrival of Polk County Fire/Medics and Northeast District Patrol, witnesses were able to remove Ms. Tammi Hillman, from inside her vehicle. The witnesses administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Ms. Hillman until Polk County Fire/Medics arrived on scene. Polk County Fire/Medics took over lifesaving measures on Ms. Hillman and transported her to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries. Polk County Fire/Medics rendered aid to Ms. Keeli Gonzalez—she was transported to Lakeland Regional Health and is listed in stable condition.
Highway 17 92 is a primarily east/west four lane roadway with two lanes that travel east and two lanes that travel west with a 60 mph speed limit. The crash occurred in the inside (left) lane of eastbound Highway 17 92. The area of Highway 17 92 where the crash occurred is straight. It was dark at the time of the crash and the area of the crash is not illuminated with any artificial lighting.
Preliminary investigation suggests, that Ms. Hillman driving the Buick Regal was traveling the wrong direction on Highway 17 92. The Buick Regal was traveling westbound in the inside lane of eastbound Highway 17 92 with no headlights on. Ms. Gonzalez, driving the Ford Focus was traveling eastbound in the inside lane of Highway 17 92. The front of the Ford Focus struck the front of the Buick Regal. After primary impact both vehicles rotated approximately 45 degrees counter clockwise. The Buick Regal and the Ford Focus came to final rest in the inside (left) lane of the roadway. There were no signs of any pre-impact braking from either vehicle
Witnesses on scene were interviewed and advised they observed the Buick Regal traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Highway 17 92 prior to the crash. Witnesses advised the Buick Regal was traveling the wrong direction on Highway 17 92 without any headlights activated. A witness traveling behind the Ford Focus advised she didn’t observe the Buick Regal, due to the area being dark but suddenly observed the Ford Focus and Buick Regal impact each other.
Preliminary investigation further revealed that Tammi Hillman was not wearing a seatbelt; Keeli Gonzalez was wearing her seatbelt. Front airbags in both of the involved vehicles were deployed during this crash. According to investigators, Keeli Gonzalez was evaluated and did not exhibit any signs of impairment. The causation, other than the obvious wrong-way driving aspect, for this crash is under investigation.