WINTER HAVEN – A 26-year-old Winter Haven man died of his injuries from an early Saturday traffic crash.
Hakeem McGhee was pronounced dead at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center shortly after being flown there from the accident scene, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy will be conducted this week to determine his cause of death.
McGhee was traveling south in a white 1999 Buick sedan on U.S. 27 near U.S. 17/92 in Haines City about 6 a.m., according to a Sheriff’s Office statement. His car was struck in the left rear by a 2007 black Mercedes 350 driven by Paris Allen, 25, of Haines City, who was also traveling south.
The impact caused McGhee’s vehicle to cross the median and both lanes of U.S. 27 North and off the roadway into a retention pond near Morris Ranch Road. His car was almost entirely submerged until a Winter Haven Fire Department crew pulled him out.
Neither driver was wearing a seat belt, the statement said, and speed is thought to be a factor.
The investigation will continue pending autopsy results.
Kevin Bouffard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 863-401-6980.