Toddler Killed in Polk County Hit-and-Run
On the afternoon of December 23rd, a 21-year-old individual was behind the wheel of a Nissan Versa and traveling down the eastern lanes of Interstate 4, close to State Road 550 in Polk County. Inside the car with the 21-year-old were four other individuals, one of whom was the driver’s 3-year-old child.
At the same time, a sedan described as being light in color was also headed down the eastern lanes of I-4. It is not clear what was happening within the cab of the sedan, but the driver of this vehicle decided to change lanes at around 2:00 in the afternoon, just as they were approaching the Nissan Versa. Because the driver of the sedan fled from the scene following the incident, we do not know if they saw the Versa ahead of them or if they were distracted by something else and were thus not watching where they were piloting their vehicle.
Regardless of the reasons, the sedan collided with the rear of the Versa. The driver of the Versa, caught completely off guard, attempted and failed to retain control of the vehicle. The Versa began to spin within the road, then drifted towards the center median. Still traveling at considerable speed, the Versa collided with the guardrail located along the roadway before coming to a full stop.
As stated above, the driver of the sedan did not stop after striking the Versa. Instead, they sped away from the incident in the hopes that they would manage to remain unidentified.
While the majority of the individuals within the Versa were wearing seatbelts, the three-year-old child was not. They were also not in a car seat. Instead, they were sitting on the lap of one of the people sitting in the back of the car. It is not known why the family did not possess a car seat. As a result of the crash, the 3-year-old sustained severe injuries. They were rushed from the crash site to a nearby hospital, and it was there that they were declared dead.
The other individuals within the car, a 27-year-old, a 17-year-old, a 7-year-old, a 14-year-old, and the 21-year-old driver, were also injured in the incident and were treated at Lakeland Regional Health. Their injuries are believed to be minor.
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.