On Saturday May 13, 2023 at approximately 10:55 P.M. A traffic crash was reported on Chalet Suzanne Road, just west of Dinner Lake Shores subdivision in Lake Wales. Emergency personnel including Lake Wales Police, Lake Wales Fire Department and Polk County Emergency Medical Services arrived and located a female victim that had been struck by a vehicle.
Lake Wales Traffic Homicide Investigators learned that just prior to the crash the victim, Lataysha Rene Kelly, 27 of Orlando had been driving west in a 2015 Nissan Altima on Chalet Suzanne Road, accompanied by Donald Dixon 34, also of Orlando.
The two were having a verbal argument when Kelly stopped the car in the west-bound lane of travel. Dixon got out of the vehicle and started walking east along Chalet Suzanne Road. Kelly then turned off the vehicle and got out, leaving it unattended in the roadway with no lights on and followed Dixon.
A cable repair employee in the area saw Kelly’s vehicle parked in the roadway with no lights on. The employee used the spot light from his work truck to illuminate the car so other drivers would see it and avoid a collision.
At the same time, a 2003 Toyota 4-runner driven by 68 year-old John Stealy of Lake Wales was traveling east on Chalet Suzanne Road passing by the repair truck and the Altima. As Stealy passed, he did not see Kelly or Dixon walking in the roadway. Stealy’s Toyota then struck Kelly, who was thrown from the roadway.
Kelly was transported to a local hospital where she died from her injuries.
If you have any information regarding this crash please contact the Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223. Or, if you would like to remain anonymous and be eligible for a CASH REWARD through Heartland Crime Stoppers, call 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) or**TIPS from your cell phone. You can also visit www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit a Tip”, or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet to provide information.