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LAKELAND, FL (January 02, 2022) - On Saturday, January 1, 2022, at approximately 4:46 p.m., officers responded to a traffic crash near South Crystal Lake Drive and US Highway 98 South. Just prior to the crash, a Ford Mustang was attempting to turn left on to South Crystal Lake Drive from US Highway 98 South when it crossed into the path of a Hyundai SUV that was traveling north on US Highway 98 South. The two vehicles collided.
The Lakeland Police Department Patrol Unit, Polk County Fire Rescue, and the Lakeland Fire Department all arrived on the scene and began to provide life-saving measures. The driver of the Hyundai, 52-year-old Michael Monroe, was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel. The passenger of the Hyundai and three occupants of the Ford were transported to Lakeland Regional Health with serious injuries. A six-year-old child, who was also a passenger in the Ford, was airlifted to Tampa General for treatment.
Members of the Traffic Homicide Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation. The roadway was shut down for approximately five hours while the scene was processed for the ongoing investigation.  If anyone has any additional information regarding the crash, please contact investigating Officer Tyler Anderson at tyler.anderson@lakelandgov.net. 
The driver of Hyundai SUV:
Michael Monroe
Age:  52
The driver of the Ford Mustang:
Tara Mercier
Age: 45