Road race leads to death of female passenger in Lakeland, deputies say

Image 1 of 4

A road race in Lakeland resulted with the death of a woman and a man critically injured, deputies said.

The deadly crash occurred Sunday night near U.S. Highway 98 South and Innovation Way. When deputies arrived at the scene, they said found a scorched Jeep Wrangler after it struck an electric pole, and caught fire. The two people inside were ejected and transported to a Lakeland Regional Health.

Polk County investigators said, according to preliminary evidence, that the Jeep was at a stoplight at U.S. 98 and Autumnwood Grove Boulevard. An unidentified sports bike pulled up next to it, and both drivers revved their engines, deputies said.

When the light turned green, the Jeep and sports bike sped through the intersection. Investigators said, according to witnesses, the Jeep lost control and struck an electric pole at a high rate of speed. The driver, 52-year-old Rodney Wimberly, and his passenger, 47-year-old Shannon Oglesby were ejected. Flames spread through the Jeep, leaving it disfigured after the fire was extinguished.

Good Samaritans, along with Polk County Deputy Trexler, who was off-duty at the time, stopped to help. Trexler had a tourniquet and attempted to stop the bleeding from Oglesby’s injured leg. All individuals helped render aid until first responders arrived, officials said.

Oglesby passed away at the hospital, officials said. Wimberly remained in critical condition as of Monday morning.

Investigators said if Wimberly survives, he may face criminal charges, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Witness statements also indicate the sports bike was “several car lengths ahead of the Jeep” when the crash occurred, and the sports bike driver may not have been aware of the crash, investigators said. However, officials want to find that the driver.