Lakeland man dies after standing in middle of Interstate 4

Published Jan. 3, 2015

LAKELAND — A man died early Saturday after being hit by two cars while he was standing in the center lane of eastbound Interstate 4, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Daniel Vavra, 29, of Lakeland, had apparently parked his vehicle on the right shoulder of I-4 just west of State Road 570 about 12:24 a.m. and walked out into traffic "for unknown reasons," patrol officials said.

Maykel Rodriguez Prieto was driving a 2007 Ford F-150 pickup truck in the center lane of the highway. When Prieto saw Vavra in the roadway, he "attempted unsuccessfully to avoid a collision," officials said.

The impact with the pickup truck sent Vavra flying into the right lane, where he was subsequently hit by another car — a 2006 Pontiac Torrent driven by Lithia's Deborah Kim Butler, 57.

Vavra died at the scene of the crash.

No charges were filed against the drivers.