A Polk County Fire Rescue ambulance crashed through the wall of the former Proud Gator store late Friday. | Lucia Gabriello Belfiore and Lakeland Police

A Polk County Fire Rescue ambulance was involved in an accident on South Florida Avenue and East Palmetto Street shortly before midnight Friday. The accident demolished the front of the former Proud Gator sports merchandise store that closed on April 25. 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said the call came in at 11:50 p.m. There were no patients in the ambulance at the time. 

There were four crew members on board, and all four were transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with injuries including a hand fracture, fractured ribs and tibia, and minor injuries to hand and face.

The vehicle involved was unit MR002.

Caution tape surrounds the exposed front of the former Proud Gator store on Saturday morning. | Robin Tillett, Lakeland Police Department

The accident occurred within the city of Lakeland, but because the ambulance is a county vehicle, the county requested that PCSO respond.

Horstman said South Florida Avenue was shut down from Mosswood Road to Palmetto. PCSO cleared the scene at 3:38 a.m.

No other details were immediately available.

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Cindy Glover moved to Lakeland in 2021 after spending two decades in South Florida. Her career has included journalism, education, digital marketing and public relations. She worked for the Albuquerque Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel and spent a year as a community engagement coordinator for the City of Lakeland before joining LkldNow.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Got to assume they weren’t responding to a call because it would have been mentioned in the article. Had to be negligence somehow on the driver because there is no other way that could happen without another vehicle being involved. This will be swept away. Taxpayers should get answers since that is going to cost alot of money to fix but even more for the truck. I’m sure a camera somewhere along that road picked this crash up.

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.)