A 56-year-old man died this morning when he was unable to stop his bicycle and was pulled under a passing semi-trailer on Combee Road near U.S. 92, the Polk Sheriff’s Office said.

Richard Meeks of Strawberry Lane was seen dragging his feet to try to stop his bicycle as he rode on Magnolia Street approaching the intersection of Combee Road around 8:40 a.m., deputies said. “An inspection of the bike after the crash revealed the front and rear brakes had been removed,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Meeks slid into the side of a Freightliner semi-truck pulling a flatbed trailer traveling south on Combee Road and was dragged under the rear wheels of the flatbed, deputies said. He was declared dead at the scene.

The accident closed Combee Road for several hours.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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