2 dead, child critical after Hardee County crash

Two people have died and a 3-yer-old child is critically injured after a crash in Hardee County, troopers say.

The Florida Highway Patrol says a white, 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by 23-year-old Angel Ortiz, was headed west on Maxwell Drive approaching a stop sign at the intersection of US 17.

At the same time, a green, 2002 Dodge Ram, driven by 59-year-old Bertha Zamora, was driving north on US 17 in the inside lane.

Troopers say it appears Ortiz did not see the truck as he entered the intersection. The truck t-boned the Malibu, killing Ortiz and his passenger, 26-year-old Jessica Cochran. Also in the car was 3-year-old Arabella Ortiz, who is in serious condition at John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

After the crash, the Malibu stopped on the side of the road and the truck ended up on the paved median of US 17, facing north.

FHP says the crash is under investigation.