1 dead, 1 hospitalized in Polk County multi-vehicle crash

Teresa Hammond, 22, was killed early Sunday morning in a multi-vehicle crash in unincorporated Lakeland, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Hammond and Marquist Westbrooks, 23, were sitting in a Ford Focus parked in the north side lane of Ellis Avenue with its lights off around 2:15 a.m. when the passenger side of the vehicle was struck by a 2001 Buick Century, driven by Lisa Breeding, 54, at a high rate of speed. 

The impact caused the Ford Focus to spin counter-clockwise in a northwestward direction and hit an unoccupied 2016 black Ford Dart which was parked in a driveway, according to PCSO. 

After the collision, the Buick continued to travel in a southwestward direction. It hit an unoccupied 2009 gray Chevrolet Malibu which was parked in a neighboring driveway. The impact caused the Malibu to hit an unoccupied and parked 2007 white Nissan Murano, also in a neighboring driveway.

Hammond, who deputies say was sitting in the passenger seat and was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected from the car following the crash and died at the scene. 

Westbrooks was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Like Hammond, deputies say he was not wearing a seatbelt. 

Breeding, who was wearing a seatbelt, was treated at the scene for minor injuries. 

PCSO is investigating the crash.    

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