Mother killed, 2 children seriously injured in DUI crash

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Two children are in serious condition; their mother has passed away and a man is behind bars following a serious crash on a Bay Area road Thursday night.

The Florida Highway Patrol says it happened on State Road 60 around 7:45 p.m.

A woman, identified only as a 45-year-old from Plant City, was heading west in a 2001 Chevy pick-up with her 8 and 10-year-old kids inside when troopers say the Dodge Avenger behind them tried to pass, and hit the truck’s back left side.

The impact sent the truck flying into the grass, where troopers say it overturned several times and eventually ejected the woman.  She was not wearing her seatbelt.

The family was rushed to Tampa General Hospital, but the mother did not survive.

The driver of the other vehicle, 46-year-old Brian Defeitas, received only minor injuries in the crash. Officials have since charged him with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and DUI with serious bodily injury, saying he refused a blood alcohol test.

The children remain at Tampa General Hospital Friday morning.

Jail records show that DeFreitas has several prior arrests in Polk County for DUI, driving with a suspended license, and other charges.