36-Year-Old Bicyclist Killed During Hit-and-Run Crash in Lakeland
Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office are currently searching for the driver and vehicle connected to a hit-and-run collision that claimed the life of a 36-year-old bicyclist early Sunday evening on 1st Street NW in Lakeland.
According to preliminary incident reports from the traffic homicide detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, it was close to 6:15 p.m. on December 6, 2021, when 36-year-old Antonio Adam Smiley was riding his bicycle without a helmet in the eastbound direction of 1st Street NW. As the bicyclist, who was wearing dark clothing and did not have any safety lights attached to his bike, approached the street’s intersection with Stroud Road, a white older-model Ford E350 van entered the area from behind and rear-ended the 36-year-old man. The driver of the van did not stop after the collision occurred and sped away from the scene of the accident right after it happened.
Local Polk County first responders were dispatched to the crash site soon after the first set of 9-1-1 calls came into the center. Upon their arrival, they found the bicyclist was already receiving first aid from a set of nearby witnesses to the deadly accident. EMTs took over the life-saving duties and continued to work on the man until he was ready to be transported to a local hospital. Although the victim was conscious and spoke with authorities soon while in transit to the medical facility, he passed away soon after arriving at the emergency room.
“The driver of the van knew that a person was struck, and then made no effort to check on Mr. Smiley. He or she showed no concern for Mr. Smiley’s condition. In fact, the only concern the driver had was to get away as quickly as possible. I can promise you, our detectives are going to do everything they can to find that van and the person responsible,” said a spokesperson with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in a press release.
Detectives are looking for a white older-model Ford E350 van with front-end damage to the passenger’s side of the vehicle. It is also believed that one of the van’s front headlights is not operational. If you have any information regarding this fatal hit-and-run bicycle accident, please contact your local police department, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, or the state’s anonymous toll-free Crimeline at (800) 423-8477 to submit a tip.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.