Polk County Hit-and-Run on U.S. 27 Severely Injures Three People
A 32-year-old woman is facing several serious charges this week for her alleged connection to a severe hit-and-run accident that injured multiple people, including two small children, last Friday evening along U.S. Highway 27 in Polk County.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, it was close to 8:00 p.m. on May 19, 2023, when 32-year-old Orlando resident Ashauntie Cox was driving a blue Kia in the southern direction of U.S. Highway 27 with her 5-year-old, her 8-year-old, and a 27-year-old female passenger in the vehicle. Officials indicate that as Cox approached the upcoming intersection with U.S. Highway 98 near Frostproof, she slammed into a gray Chevy Silverado pickup truck and then sped away from the scene at a high rate of speed.
Reports from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office state that Ashauntie Cox continued to drive in the southbound direction of the highway, weaving in and out of traffic before she rear-ended a Honda CRV sport utility vehicle. This impact caused the Kia to rollover several times, ejecting the two children from the car in the process.
Multiple Polk County emergency responders were dispatched to the scene of the auto accident to help the crash victims and were immediately met with an odor of cannabis in Cox’s vehicle. A bottle of alcohol was discovered as well. Medical teams quickly transported the 5-year-old & 8-year-old children to Tampa General Hospital with critical injuries, while the 27-year-old passenger of the Kia was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. She is in stable condition, but received severe injuries to her back, hip, and spinal cord during the collision. The current condition of the children is unknown.
The driver of the Honda CRV was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.
During an interview by investigators while she was in the hospital, Ashauntie Cox allegedly admitted to taking four shots of tequila and smoking marijuana earlier in the day. “This woman had no regard for anyone’s life when she got behind the wheel intoxicated and then drove recklessly down a major highway, but what’s worse is the blatant disregard she had for the lives of the innocent children in her car,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in a press release. She has since been arrested and charged with three counts of DUI with serious bodily injury, two counts of negligent child abuse with great bodily harm, one count of DUI with property damage, one count of driving under the influence, and reckless driving.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.