UPDATE: The 7-year-old victim has been identified as Kamicheliz Ayala, of Lake Wales.
The driver of the vehicle, 42-year-old Harry Figueroa-Vazquez, is in stable condition. A passenger, Kamicheliz’s mom, is in critical condition. She has been identified as 35-year-old Olmary Liz Gonzalez-Bonew.
PREVIOUS STORY: LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a crash that killed a 7-year-old child who was ejected from an SUV late Monday night. Investigators say it appears as though the child may not have been wearing a seat belt.
Homicide deputies say a man was driving a 2004 Suzuki SUV eastbound on State Road 60 one mile west of West Lake Wales Road, Lake Wales. His passengers included an adult female from Lake Wales, and a 7-year-old child.
The SUV drove off the right side of the roadway onto the grass shoulder where it lost traction and began to rotate counter-clockwise as it re-entered the roadway. The SUV entered the eastbound lanes and began to flip multiples times and then left the south edge of the roadway. It came to final rest upside down in a shallow ditch along SR 60.
Investigators say the 7-year-old child was ejected from the SUV as it flipped and came to rest along the right edge of SR 60 eastbound. The child died at the scene.
Within minutes of coming to final rest, the SUV caught fire and began to burn with the adult female passenger still inside the vehicle. The SUV’s driver was found outside of the vehicle.
Passing motorists, Southeast District Patrol Deputies, and a Polk County Fire supervisor all arrived on scene and utilized multiple fire extinguishers to slow the fire long enough to rescue the adult female passenger. Additional Fire/Rescue personnel arrived and the fire was put out.
Both the driver and the adult passenger were transported to Lakeland Regional Health where the female is currently listed in critical condition and the driver is in stable condition.
Through the initial investigation, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says it appears as though the child was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The female passenger was belted, but it is unknown at this time if the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
There is no evidence or witnesses indicating other vehicles were involved in the crash. Impairment does not appear to be a factor. Speed may be involved and distracted driving is being investigated.
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