Release From Polk County Sheriff’s Office
At approximately 7:54 pm, deputies received an assist FHP call to the area of Highway 60 near Walk-in-Water Road. It was a BOLO for a white Dodge Challenger westbound on Highway 60. At approximately 7:55 p.m., a PCSO deputy located a white Dodge Challenger that was travelling west on Highway 60 near Buckmoore Road in Lake Wales.
Deputies began following the vehicle and attempted to stop the white Challenger at Highway 60 and High Street. The Challenger began to pull over but then accelerated west on Highway 60. We then pursued the vehicle with lights and sirens. The Challenger was able to rapidly accelerate to where the pursuing units were unable to see it within one minute of the initial traffic stop. As units continued west on Highway 60, they observed the vehicle had been involved in a traffic crash at the Highway 60 off ramp to Highway 27.
We made contact with the driver, 52 year old Darrell Kelley of Stone Mountain, Georgia. There were two passengers, a 33 year old woman from Clarksville, Tennessee and a 24 year old woman from Jackson, Mississippi. The 33 year old woman said she was sore but was not injured—as a precaution she was transported to Lake Wales Medical Center and was treated and released. The 24 year old woman was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for treatment for injuries and admitted. Kelley was transported to Lake Wales Medical Center but refused treatment. Kelley was charged with Aggravated Fleeing to Elude and Reckless Driving w/ Serious Bodily Injury and booked into the Polk County Jail.
The driver and passengers of the secondary vehicle involved with the traffic crash all said that they were not injured but as a precaution were taken to Lake Wales Medical Center where they were treated and released. The pursuit lasted just over one minute and there were no deputies or law enforcement officers injured.
Investigation determined that a sister of the 24 year old called FHP and told them that she had been communicating with her sister, and she said she was supposed to be returning to Mississippi, but the people who she was with were taking her somewhere else, kept changing routes, and that Kelley was making her nervous.
The 33 year old told deputies on scene that she was friends with the 24 year old but did not know Kelley. She further stated that Kelley and the 24 year old were supposed to be taking her back to Mississippi from Miami but they kept stopping places and making her uncomfortable so she began asking them to let her out of the car but they refused.
The investigation is ongoing to determine the relationship and nature of what was going on between the three, and whether or not Kelley will be facing additional charges.