LAKE WALES (FOX 13) - Deputies in Polk County say they've arrested the driver who killed a motorist and fled the scene, leaving a seriously injured deputy behind.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd identified the suspect as Charlie Lewis, 71, who was driving the blue pickup truck that hit the deputy and motorist. Preliminary tests on the truck came back positive for blood, Judd said.
Jessica Enchautegui-Otero was killed shortly after 12:30 a.m. Saturday. According to the sheriff's office, Deputy Adam Pennell stopped his cruiser after he spotted her standing in the median of State Road 60 near Lake Wales. Pennell parked in the inside lane and had his emergency lights on.
Enchautegui-Otero, 33, had just crashed her car into a tree nearby and needed help. The deputy was in the process of helping her when an oncoming driver slammed into them, killing Enchautegui-Otero and injuring Pennell.
Sheriff Grady Judd later called the hit-and-run driver a "coward," but insisted his deputies would catch up with him or her.
Now, deputies say an anonymous Heartland Crime Stoppers tip led them to the suspect's vehicle in Lake Wales, and an arrest was made.
"As you can imagine, we are all very grateful," a spokesperson offered.
Judd says Lewis admitted to drinking that night and recalled hitting something, but didn't know what. "He left his victims for dead," Judd said.
The sheriff said Lewis said, "Please tell them I'm sorry," a sentiment that was too little too late, Judd said.
Deputy Pennell is now in serious condition. Sheriff Judd said surgery went well and they hope for a full recovery.
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