• 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.

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