A 29-year-old Lakeland man was killed Thursday in a multi-vehicle crash on State Road 60 at the intersection with Grape Hammock Road in Lake Wales.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the 2:45 p.m. crash involved four vehicles, including two semis, which resulted in significant diesel fuel and oil on the roadway and debris.
Deputies said a silver 2012 Volkswagen car being driven by the man Lakeland was heading westbound on SR 60 just west of Grape Hammock Rd at a high rate of speed when it began to hydroplane, as it was raining heavily at the time.
The VW went into the eastbound lane and bounced off of a 2019 red Kia Sorento. The VW rotated and was then struck by an eastbound 1986 Kenworth semi truck pulling a trailer, causing significant damage and killing the Lakeland man.
The semi exited the roadway and came to a rest in a ditch, with the trailer still in the eastbound lane.
Another semi heading westbound struck some debris from the crash and came to a controlled stop.
None of the other drivers were injured.
Hydroplaning happens when road conditions are wet and the surface of the asphalt becomes slippery. The combination of moisture and oil residue on roadways can result in a very slippery surface. For drivers experiencing this, the tires of their vehicle can become separated from the road surface by a thin layer of water, and they can experience a loss of steering, as well as a loss of braking ability and vehicle control. A hydroplane crash can be catastrophic, as this case shows, and affect multiple vehicles and cause significant injuries and property damage.