Deputies: Two killed in Polk County crash


POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Polk County traffic deputies are investigating a three-vehicle crash in which two people were killed.

The crash happened shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday on Highway 98 North in Lakeland between Rockridge Rd. and Socrum Loop Rd.

Investigators say a black Toyota Scion driven by 19-year-old Eric Russo was southbound on US 98 when he attempted to pass at least one vehicle on the two-lane road.

As Russo attempted to pass, a gray Ford Mustang driven by 17-year-old Jessica Carroll approached northbound in the same lane.

Deputies said it appears Russo attempted to move back into the southbound lane but struck the left rear of a tan Cadillac Escalade, causing him to lose control and spin back into the northbound lane and crashed into the Mustang.

Russo and a passenger in the Mustang, 28-year-old Charles Parker, both died at the scene. Carroll and a third passenger in the Mustang, 40-year-old Rex Brinker, were taken by ambulance to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

The driver of the Escalade, 59-year-old Michael Haire, and his passenger Marvella Haire, were not injured.

The crash is still under investigation.