Scooter Rider Killed, Responder Hurt in Double Hit-and-Run

Pvt. Lawson
Pvt. Lawson

A 40-year-old Polk City woman died in a hit-and-run accident on North Galloway early this morning, and a young Army soldier who stopped to help her was injured when they were both hit by a second hit-and-run driver.

The woman, Kelly Marie Black, was hit from behind by a GMC SUV around 2:24 a.m. while riding an unregistered scooter northbound on Galloway Road just south of Kathleen Road, the Polk Sheriff’s Office reported.

Private First Class Kalen Lawson, a 20-year-old Lakelander visiting home from Fort Hood, Texas, is hospitalized with a broken leg, Sheriff Grady Judd said.

The driver of the first vehicle, a 2002 GMC SUV, been identified as Corey Wesley Jones, Judd announced at a 10:30 a.m. news conference. He has told deputies he would turn himself in, Judd said.

Jones had been driving erratically and lost control while going over railroad tracks, Judd said. The collision left Black injured, he said.

Judd praised Jones and a friend — 20-year-old Markell M. Grant of Lakeland — for running to help Black after they witnessed the accident.

The light-colored pickup truck that struck Black and Lawson came along less than a minute after the first hit-and-run incident, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The pickup ran over Black’s chest, Judd said.

Anyone with any information about the hit-and-run vehicles are asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200. Those with information who wish to remain anonymous and/or be eligible for a cash reward from Heartland Crime Stoppers may call 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) or go to heartlandcrimestoppers.com to leave a tip.