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Teen killed, another critically injured in single-vehicle crash in Winter Haven

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a single-vehicle crash that left one teenager dead Monday afternoon and another hospitalized with serious injuries.

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The crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. Monday on Spirit Lake Road, just south of Rolling Oaks Drive in Winter Haven.

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First responders arrived to find a white 1994 Chevrolet pickup truck crashed into a tree with the driver and a passenger trapped inside.

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Deputies say the driver, identified only as a 17-year-old boy from Winter Haven, died at the crash scene.

A 15-year-old female passenger in the truck was taken to Tampa Hospital in critical condition with head trauma, a brain bleed, facial fractures, lung damage, and multiple broken bones. Deputies say she’s now stable.

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The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Unit is investigating the crash.

Deputies say evidence from the scene suggests the truck was southbound on Spirit Lake Road when the driver lost control on a curve, ran off the west side of the roadway and struck an oak tree.

According to the sheriff’s office, investigators have not been able to determine whether either occupant of the truck was wearing a seatbelt when the crash occurred.

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Detectives noted that wet roads due to rain may have been a factor in the crash.

The investigation is ongoing.

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