Polk deputy killed in one-car crash | News
Winter Haven, Florida -- People living near Bomber Road knew just by the sound of things Friday morning that something bad had happened.
"I heard screeching and a big bang," said Joe Needham. "So I jumped in my truck and run down there."
Needham and his neighbors found a Sheriff's cruiser off the road and crumpled against trees -- a deputy trapped inside.
"It looked bad," said Allen Turvin, who biked back home to get a crowbar. "I respect their job and I respect what they do and when I got there it didn't look good."
Master Deputy Joseph "Shane" Robbins died of his injuries. The 40-year-old had been with the Polk County Sheriff's Office for 15 years.
Robbins was known for his outgoing personality and work with children and today Sheriff Grady Judd called him a gentle giant.
"If Shane Robbins walked up here today, he would be instantly be your best friend -- his personality, his charisma, his smile," described Judd during a news conference at the accident scene.
Robbins was on duty at the time of the crash, but not answering a call and investigators don't know yet what caused him to swerve on the road and eventually crash. Just minutes beforehand he'd waved to another deputy in a cruiser as they passed on the road.
Investigators are looking into a possible medical problem and they'd also like to speak with anyone who witnessed the crash.
Robbins leaves a wife and five children. Funeral arrangements are still being planned.
During his career, Robbins received many honors and commendations. On the side his car the words "Pride in Service" are written and Judd says Robbins lived them every day.
"You hear the good die young and the great also die young and that's what happened about 9:15 this morning."
Any witnesses who may have seen or heard anything, even as insignificant as they think it may be, are strongly urged to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 863-298-6200.