Friday, January 13, 2012

Lakeland Motorist Arrested For Running Red Light and Killing Bicyclist in June 2011 -- Driver Says She Was Cleaning Her Glasses

Polk County Sheriff's Traffic deputies arrested a Lakeland woman today on a warrant charging her in the death of a bicyclist in June 2011.

On Friday, January 13, 2012, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies took 34-year-old Tashica Wanyell Smith (DOB 4/12/77), of 512 W. Lowell Street in Lakeland, into custody without incident for Negligent Manslaughter/Vehicle/Killing of a Person.

According to the investigation, at approximately 1:30 p.m., on June 24, 2011, Smith was operating a 1994 Ford Escort on U.S. Highway 92 east of State Road 659 (Combee Road) in Lakeland. Smith, who was traveling at an approximate speed of 77 MPH in a posted 45 MPH zone, failed to stop at a red light, which resulted in her hitting 56-year-old James Galey (DOB 2/5/55), of 2412 Hatwood Street, Lakeland, as he was crossing U.S. 92 on his bicycle.

Smith and a witness in her vehicle stated that at the time of the crash, Smith was cleaning her glasses. Smith has been booked into the Polk County Jail and is being held on $10,000 bond.

She was also arrested and then released on bond in October 2011 for a charge of Failure to Redeliver a Hired Vehicle. She has seven total prior arrests for charges such as Grand Theft, Failure to Appear, and Violation of Probation. Attached is her current mugshot.

Thank you,

Carrie Eleazer, PIO

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Office: 863.298.6217

Cell: 863.287.7440

Fax: 863.298.6262

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