POLK COUNTY, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Polk County deputies are investigating two separate, unrelated hit-and-run fatalities that happened early Saturday morning.
Deputies say one crash occurred around 2:15 a.m. on US Hwy 92 in the westbound lanes at the intersection with Payne Street, in Auburndale. Deputies say the victim, 27-year-old Hector Chavez of Auburndale, was riding his bicycle when he was struck by a vehicle, and then struck by other vehicles after the initial impact.
Officials say the at-fault vehicle in this crash that struck the victim first will have noticeable damage to the driver's side.
Deputies say the other crash occurred sometime between 12:30 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. in Lakeland.
Around 6:40 a.m., PCSO received a call from a driver who saw a woman laying on the south side of the roadway of eastbound Clubhouse Road in Lakeland, near Tillery Road. PCSO found the victim, 20-year-old Jill Braddock of West Palmeden Road in Lakeland, who appeared to have been deceased for at least a few hours.
Deputies say the car that struck this victim is a 2007-2012 model Nissan Altima, that will have front-end and mirror damage on the passenger side. The mirror and other accessories left behind were after-market items, meaning the car may have been repaired in the past. The car would have been traveling eastbound on Clubhouse when it struck her from behind.
Deputies say Jill was walking home heading eastbound on Clubhouse Road, after meeting with some friends. She possibly walked from South Florida, down Edgewood, to Lakeland Highlands, to Clubhouse. She was last heard from via text message around 12:20 a.m., while she was walking on Clubhouse, deputies said.