POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a single-vehicle fatality crash that occurred early Saturday before 6:00 AM on I-4 westbound, near the exit to CR 557 in Polk City, in the center grass median.
Evidence at the scene and witness statements indicate that Herr was traveling west in the inside lane of I-4 and beginning to transition to the middle lane at the same time an unknown vehicle was beginning to transition to the middle lane from the outside lane.
Herr swerved back into the inside lane, and the unknown vehicle swerved back to the outside lane.
At this time, there is no evidence or indication there was any impact between the vehicles, and a witness behind the two vehicles confirmed that.
As Herr swerved back into the inside lane, his car began to hydroplane and spin in a counterclockwise direction, entering into the center grass median of the interstate, at which time the passenger side of the car struck a large grouping of trees.
The car then immediately became fully engulfed in flames.
When Deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue personnel arrived at the scene, the fire engulfing the car, a 2007 gray Toyota Camry, was extinguished and the driver, 41-year-old Brian Herr of Spring Hill, was found inside deceased.
At the time of the crash it was dark, the roadway was wet, and there was very little ambient lighting in the area.
“With a heavy heart, we share the untimely death of Polk County Fire Rescue Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Herr. He began his career with Polk County Fire Rescue on March 27, 2023. He was 41 years old,” said Polk County Fire Rescue in a statement.
Herr lived in Wesley Chapel and was a first-generation fire service member, according to Polk County Fire Rescue. Officials say he is survived by his two sons and mother.
Please keep Firefighter/Paramedic Herr’s family, his crew, and our entire PCFR family in your thoughts and prayers.
We will update this story as more details are released.
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