4th person dies following Polk crash caused by speeding driver who fled from deputies, officials say

Polk County deputies say another person has passed away following a 4-vehicle crash that occurred Monday in the Haines City area.

The fourth victim passed away overnight, investigators said. 

One of the deceased is a driver who fled from deputies. Sheriff Grady Judd said Monday that the chain of events started with a call to 911 about a possible abduction in Poinciana. 

Deputies followed a driver who fled from the scene of the alleged incident, and they tried to get him to pull over. 

Then, when the driver began recklessly driving on the roadway, deputies turned off their patrol lights, the sheriff said. 

The driver, who has not been publicly identified by authorities, was not being pursued at the time of the crash. 

"Unfortunately this guy was driving like an out-of-control maniac and caused a horrific crash," Sheriff Judd said, adding that it occurred on Lake Hatchineha Road near Watkins Road, east of Haines City. The driver died at the scene, along with two others who were inside the vehicles.

Three were flown to area hospitals, and one passed away since then. All are believed to be adults.

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Crash investigators say figuring out exactly what happened at the crash will be complicated because of severe damage to the vehicles involved. The sheriff’s office said there appears not to have been an abduction, but there had been some kind of disturbance. 

None of the occupants have been publicly identified.