LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Four people were killed in a seven-vehicle crash on Interstate 4 this morning after a speeding pickup truck crossed the median, became airborne, and slammed into oncoming traffic west of Lakeland.
The crash happened around 8 a.m. between Kathleen Road and Memorial Boulevard in Polk County. The view from SkyFOX showed debris strewn all across the highway from what must have been an extremely violent series of collisions.
"We had a vehicle that crossed over from the eastbound lanes into the westbound lanes. We're trying to determine how that happened," FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins explained. "As the vehicle crossed over the center guide wire, it struck other vehicles as well."
The driver of the pickup was among the four people killed, which may make it tougher for investigators to figure out why he lost control. But at least one witness told FOX 13 it looked like the truck was racing.
Justin Lamboy said he, his wife, and baby were traveling from Sarasota to Orlando on eastbound I-4 when they saw a silver pickup and a green pickup speeding past them. He estimated they were traveling at over 100 miles per hour.
"But the silver truck was going so fast that it lost control," Lamboy recalled. "That's when it went over to the other side. That part of it was like watching a movie."
Gaskins would not confirm whether racing is being looked at, but he did say the role of other vehicles is being investigated.
The fatalities also included a young child, 12-year-old Cassie Ann Gatcha of Clermont. Identities of the other victims have not yet been released as troopers continue to try to contact relatives.