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TRAFFIC CRASH INVESTIGATION / SOCRUM LOOP AND FERNERY ROAD


LAKELAND, FL (January 16, 2023) - On Sunday, January 15, 2023, at approximately 8:55 p.m., officers responded to a traffic crash near Socrum Loop Road and Fernery Road in Lakeland. Preliminary evidence shows that just prior to the crash, a 1996 Ford Explorer was traveling southbound on Socrum Loop Road, approaching the area of Fernery Road, when three pedestrians, an adult female and two children, darted into the roadway directly in the path of the SUV. The driver applied the brakes and attempted to avoid the pedestrians but was unsuccessful and struck all three.
 
The Lakeland Police Department Patrol Unit, Polk County Fire Rescue, and the Lakeland Fire Department arrived on scene and began providing life-saving measures. Both children were transported to Tampa General Hospital via helicopter, and the adult was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for treatment. All appeared to have critical injuries at the time of transport. As of this morning, no additional updates have been received on their conditions. The driver of the Ford suffered no apparent injuries.
Members of the Traffic Homicide Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation. The roadway was shut down for approximately three hours while the scene was processed for the ongoing investigation. Neither speed nor impairment appears to be a factor in this crash.
This remains an open investigation. If anyone has any additional information regarding the crash, please contact investigating Officer Tyler Anderson at Tyler.Anderson@Lakelandgov.net
 
The SUV operator was identified as:
Jimmy Kasapis 
Age 20
Lakeland, FL
 
The pedestrians were identified as:
Catherine DeClaire (mother)
Age 36
Ruskin, FL
 
Child one
Age 10
Ruskin, FL
 
Child two
Age 8
Ruskin, FL
Media inquiries should be directed to mediarelations@lakelandgov.net.