POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said eight people were killed within 44 hours in car crash crashes within the county, including four in a horrific crash on Monday.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Judd described what led up to Monday’s wreck. He said the man who caused it was on the run from deputies.
“It was total carnage. It’s among the worst traffic fatalities we’ve seen in this county,” Judd said. “That’s someone[‘s] mother, father, brother, sister.”
Sheriff Judd said 35-year-old Riquelme Villar-Villalona caused the crash on Lake Hatchineha Road on Monday.
It all started after a 911 call. The sheriff said the call came from the Poinciana area, saying Villalona was beating his girlfriend.
“If you do not stop him I believe he’s going to kill her. I am dead serious,” the caller said.
A deputy saw Villalona’s black Mazda and turned on his lights. Villalona swerved into the wrong lane and started speeding off.
The deputy turned off his lights but kept driving in Villalona’s direction. Home surveillance video shows the Mazda speed past a home and other cars, with the deputy following behind.
Sheriff Judd said Villalona killed three people, including himself. Others were hurt as well.
“Rage and a contempt for the rules of society caused that triple fatality,” Judd said. “There’s people who will never spend another Christmas with their loved ones, and alcohol, drugs and rage had a lot to do with all of them.”
Sheriff Judd said they have identified all the victims, but they’re not releasing their identities.
Detectives found Villalona’s girlfriend at the hospital after the fight, but she is not cooperating.
“Which one of us want to leave our home today or go on vacation and get killed in a car crash because someone [was] so inconsiderate because they’re drinking, driving or not wanting to be stopped,” Judd said.
Judd said if Villalona survived the crash, he would have been charged with abduction and aggravated battery charges for the first event, and numerous charges for the crash, the worst of which being three counts of vehicular homicide.