Woman Killed, Police Officer in Critical Condition after Lake Wales Hit-and-Run
This past Saturday, at around 12:35am, the 25-year-old Deputy Adam Pennell pulled his cruiser over to the side of State Road 60 in Lake Wales to help the 33-year-old Jessica Enchautegui-Otero who was standing in the grassy median, looking for help. There was no car nearby. According to the last call Pennell made in to the station, the woman was near to Tiger Lake Road and Sam Keen Road. After pulling the cruiser over and switching on the emergency lights, Pennell exited the car and went to the woman. When he reached her, Enchautegui-Otero told Pennell that she had crashed into a tree and then walked to the road for assistance. Pennell saw the car and made note of Enchautegui-Otero’s injuries.
After hearing her story, Pennell placed a call into EMS in order for them to send someone to help Enchautegui-Otero. While he was conducting this call, another car entered the median, ran over both Pennell and Enchautegui-Otero, and drove away.
According to the statement issued by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesperson, Carrie Horstman, the EMS team arrived and found both of the individuals unconscious and, their bodies badly damaged. Enchautegui-Otero and Pennell were immediately rushed to hospitals. Enchautegui-Otero, who was taken to Lake Wales Medical Center, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Pennell was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. While he is still alive, his injuries are considered to be critical, and include a shattered pelvis, a broken hip, and several other broken bones that require him to undergo surgery. Carrie Horstman says that his condition is stable at this time, although it is very serious.
While the deputies investigated the crash, State Road 60 was closed between Sam Keen Road and Tiger Lake Road. State Road 60 has since reopened, but the investigation is still very much ongoing.
At this point in time, there are no leads as to who may have killed Enchautegui-Otero and severely injured Pennell, and authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to the capture of the responsible individuals.
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.