sheriff investigation polk county death

Hillsborough Teen Killed In Traffic Crash

September 2, 2020

By: Staff Report, HCSO

PLANT CITY, Fla. – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly traffic crash that left an 18-year-old dead and two other young people with injuries.

On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at approximately 11:45 p.m., a 2004 Ford Expedition, driven by a 16-year-old, was speeding on the Eastbound lanes of Ralston Road in Plant City. As it was approaching County Line Road, the driver lost control when the SUV hit a speed bump. The vehicle ran off the roadway and hit a tree. The 18-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. The right rear passenger, a 19-year-old, suffered non-life threatening injuries. Both the driver and the passenger were transported to South Florida Baptist Hospital.

“Our hearts break for the victim, his family, and especially his friends who now have to live with this traumatic and devastating loss,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “The teen driver in this case had a learner’s permit, which under Florida law, means they can only get behind the wheel if there’s a person 21 years or older in the front passenger seat. This law exists for a reason and it’s imperative for parents to make sure their teen understands the dangers and rules of the road. We lost a young person who had a whole life ahead of them because of one bad decision that could have been avoided.”

At this time, deputies do not believe alcohol or drugs contributed to this crash. Both the driver and the deceased victim were enrolled at Armwood High School. The surviving passenger is a recent graduate. The investigation is ongoing.

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