Police Seek Driver of Cadillac in Crash That Claimed Two Lives
Aljerune Brooks of Haines City Charged With Two Counts of Manslaughter
Last updated 5/24/2023 at 1:59pm
Police are seeking the whereabouts of a Haines City man who reportedly drove at high speed and ran a red light on US 27, resulting in the deaths of his two passengers.
Lake Wales Police have obtained an arrest warrant for 40-year-old Aljerune Brooks of Haines City. An investigation confirmed Brooks was the driver of the Cadillac that failed to stop at the signal at Washington Avenue, crashing into a "yard dog" truck cab owned by Florida's Natural.
The driver of the truck, Dewey Hadden, age 62 of Frostproof, escaped serious injury, but the cadillac was demolished.
Left dead in the Cadillac were Gary Faniel Jr, 24, and Javarcea Morton, 23, both of Haines City. Both Faniel and Morton were pronounced dead at the scene. Brooks was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The crash was the first of two fatal incidents at the intersection, and one of a series that have claimed six lives over a two week span in a ten-mile stretch of roads.
A police investigation determined that Brooks was intoxicated at the time of the crash, well over the legal limit. The investigation also revealed that Brooks was traveling northbound at 87 miles per hour prior to braking just before impact, and that the light had been red for approximately 16 seconds prior to the crash.
Brooks is being charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter for the deaths of Faniel Jr. and Morton.
According to Lake Wales Police, Brooks has been jailed multiple times for charges related to drugs, weapons, and suspended driver's license violations. Officers have attempted to locate Brooks' to arrest him but have been unsuccessful. The Lake Wales Police Department is requesting the community's help in locating Brooks.