Three young people died in a horrific car wreck on Highway 98 in Lakeland Saturday night, just before midnight.
- Incident occurred just before midnight Saturday
- Investigators believe speed a factor in the crash
Lakeland Police said Brittany Lewis, 24, Christopher “CJ” Stewart, 22, and Kathrin “Katie” Pitock, 22, all of Lakeland, died in the crash.
Police said Stewart was driving north on U.S. 98 near Plaza Drive when Michael Marrero, 26, of Lakeland, lost control of his Volkswagen, crossed over into the northbound lanes, and hit Stewart’s vehicle. Investigators said Stewart and Pitock died instantly. Lewis died in the hospital.
Michael Marrero was taken to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition, according to investigators.
Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash.
Stewart’s mother, Donna Collogan, was the first to learn of the crash.
“I fell to the ground and just cried,” said Collogan.
Stewart’s family said the group was riding together, taking Lewis home. Stewart and Pitock were dating. Lewis had been friends with Stewart since high school.
According to the Stewarts, Pitock grew up in Michigan. She worked at Steak ‘N’ Shake in Lakeland, while Lewis worked at Taco Bell. Stewart’s family said he was a handyman and landscaper, who loved his nieces and nephews.
“ I lost my baby," said Collogan through tears. "He was my first son. My only son and he was a brother, an uncle, my world. I don’t know how I’m going to go on with this."
Lewis’ mother, Takasha, visited the crash site Sunday morning, and left flowers. She said she didn’t know how she was going to go on either.
“I’m missing my daughter for this senseless crime,” explained Takasha Lewis. “I mean, three people got killed. Three people lost their lives. After that, [Marrero] should be in jail.“
“If you feel you need to speed and need to have that adrenaline rush, take it where it needs to be," said Collogan. "Take it to the racetracks, take it where it’s legal to do."
Sgt. Terri Smith with Lakeland Police said charges are likely. The investigation is ongoing.