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17-year-old dies, 15-year-old seriously injured in Polk County crash

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — One teenager was killed and another was seriously injured in a crash in Winter Haven Monday afternoon.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said officers with Polk County Fire Rescue responded to a crash on Spirit Lake Road south of Oakwood Estates Community at approximately 3:06 p.m.

When rescuers arrived on scene, they found two teenagers, a 17-year-old driver and a 15-year-old passenger, trapped in a white 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Officials said the driver died at the scene. The passenger suffered a head injury, brain bleeding, facial fractures, lung damage and “various broken bones.” She was taken to a Tampa hospital in critical but stable condition.

After reviewing evidence from the scene, detectives determined the truck was traveling south on Spirit Lake Road when it hit a curve and the driver lost control. The truck then went off the west side of the road and struck a pine tree.

Authorities are still investigating whether seat belts were being worn. They also said wet roads may have been a factor in the crash.

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