Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide deputies are conducting an overnight single car fatal crash. The decedent was a child passenger.
Preliminary information is as follows, at approximately 11:40 pm, on Monday, April 11, 2016, an adult male driver from Lake Wales was operating a 2004 Suzuki SUV eastbound on State Road 60 approximately one mile west of West Lake Wales Road, Lake Wales. His passengers included an adult female from Lake Wales, and a 7-year-old child.
For unknown reasons, the SUV drove off the right (south) side of the roadway onto the grass shoulder where it lost traction and began to rotate counter clock wise as it re-entered the roadway.
Upon re-entering the eastbound lanes, the SUV began to flip multiples times and again left the south edge of the roadway. It came to final rest upside down facing southwest in a shallow ditch running along the SR 60.
As the SUV flipped, the child was ejected from the SUV and came to rest along the right edge of SR 60 eastbound. The child died at the scene.
Within minutes of coming to final rest, the SUV caught fire and began to burn with the adult female passenger still inside the vehicle. The driver was found outside of the vehicle.
Passing motorists, Southeast District Patrol Deputies, and a Polk County Fire supervisor all arrived on scene and utilized multiple fire extinguishers to slow the fire long enough to extricate the adult female passenger. Additional Fire/Rescue personnel arrived and the fire was extinguished.
Both the driver and the adult passenger were transported to Lakeland Regional Health where the female is currently listed in critical condition, while the driver is currently listed in stable condition.
Through the initial investigation, it appears as though the child was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The female passenger was belted, but it is unknown at this time if the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
Eastbound SR 60 was closed for approximately one hour. Single lane travel in each direction lasted until 5:00 am this morning, Tuesday, April 12, 2016.
There is no evidence or witnesses indicating other vehicles were involved in the crash. Impairment does not appear to be a factor. Speed may be involved and distracted driving is being investigated.
The investigation is ongoing.