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Serious Bodily Injury Crash Investigation

LAKELAND, FL (August 25, 2023) – On August 25, 2023, at approximately 6:41 am, officers were dispatched to the 1600 block of Kathleen Road for a traffic crash involving a Citrus Connection Bus and a 2022 grey Hyundai sedan. The Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Fire Rescue, and the Lakeland Fire Department arrived to secure the scene and began life-saving measures. The driver of the Hyundai, a 20-year-old female, was transported to LRH with serious injuries but was listed in stable condition. The car's backseat passenger, an 11-month-old child, was transported to Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) in critical condition and then airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. The bus was carrying five passengers; three were transported to LRH with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the bus, 45-year-old Noureddine Bahbah of Winter Haven, did not sustain any injuries. 

Based on the information gathered thus far in the investigation, officers believe the Citrus Connection bus attempted to make a left turn from the southbound left turn lane of Kathleen Road while the Hyundai was traveling northbound in the outside lane of Kathleen Road. As the bus made the left turn, the front of the Hyundai struck the passenger side of the bus while they were in the intersection.  

The roadway was shut down for approximately four hours. Members of the Traffic Homicide team responded to the scene and took over the investigation. The crash remains an open investigation. Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to contact Traffic Crash Investigator Officer Camilo Almeida at camilo.almeida@lakelandgov.net.  

Media inquiries should be directed to mediarelations@lakelandgov.net.