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Lake Wales
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Haines City Man Charged With 2 Counts Of DUI Manslaughter Following Fatal Lake Wales Crash




Driver Wanted for Two Counts

of DUI Manslaughter Following 

Fatal Crash  


Lake Wales Police have obtained an arrest warrant for 40-year-old Aljerune Brooks of Haines City on two counts of DUI Manslaughter.  The investigation confirmed Brooks was the driver of the Cadillac and he was intoxicated, well over the legal limit.  This investigation also revealed Brooks was traveling 87miles per hour prior to braking before impact and he ran the red light, which had been red for approximately 16 seconds.

Brooks is being charged for the death of Gary Faniel Jr. and Javarcea Morton.  This in not Brooks’ first encounter with breaking the law.  He has been to jail multiple times for drugs, weapons and suspended driver’s license violations.  Officershave attempted to locate Brooks’ to arrest him but have been unsuccessful.

Our hearts go out to the families of Mr. Faniel and Mr. Morton in their time of loss. The Lake Wales Police Department is requesting the community’s help in locating Brooks.



Two Dead Following Early Morning

Crash in Lake Wales


Two Haines City men are dead and a third hospitalized following an early morning crash on US Highway 27 at the intersection of Washington Avenue. Lake Wales Police and emergency personnel were notified and responded to the scene at approximately 2:51 AM this morning. 

Lake Wales Traffic Homicide Investigators determined that awhite 2017 Cadillac driven by Aljerume Brooks, age 40 from Haines City failed to stop for the red traffic light while traveling North on Highway 27. Also in the vehicle was Gary Faniel Jr, age 24 and Javarcea Morton, age 23, both of Haines City. 

The Cadillac collided with a 2009 Kalmar Industries semi-truck type vehicle, commonly referred to as a “yard dog” that is owned by Florida’s Natural and was driven by Dewey Hadden, age 62 of Frostproof.

Both Faniel and Morton were pronounced dead at the scene. Brooks was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Hadden was not injured. 

This case is still under investigation. Portions of Highway 27 were closed until 11:15 AM this morning while police investigated. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office provided assistance with traffic control and Crime Scene services during the investigation. 

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 from your cell phone, dial **TIPS. You can also visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit a Tip” or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet to provide information.

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