Child killed in severe, single-vehicle crash overnight

- Two adults have been hospitalized and a child is dead following a severe, single-vehicle crash overnight in Lake Wales.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says it happened around 11:40 p.m. on State Road 60, when the driver’s 2004 Suzuki SUV just drove off the road for unknown reasons.

As it entered the grass on the south side of the roadway, investigators say the SUV lost traction and began to rotate before it flipped several times, re-entering and then leaving the roadway again.

The vehicle finally landed upside down in a shallow ditch on the side of the road.

They say a man was behind the wheel, and that a woman and a 7-year-old child were also in the car at the time of the crash.

Deputies arrived to find the 7-year-old’s body on the ground. They say the child was not wearing a seatbelt, and had been ejected.

The man was also outside of the vehicle as they arrived, but his female passenger was still inside the SUV, which had caught fire.

Crews used multiple fire extinguishers to slow the flames and then pulled the woman to safety.

Officials say she and the driver were both rushed to the hospital for treatment. The driver was said to be stable Tuesday morning, but the woman was still listed in critical condition.

Investigators say it remains unclear what caused the crash, but impairment does not appear to have been a factor.

They are looking into whether or not speeding and distracted driving played a role.

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