POLK CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said DUI is suspected in an early morning crash that killed a 22-month-old child and left a 5-year-old with a broken neck
Deputies said they responded to the area of Deen Still Road and Old Grade Road – about 10 miles north of Lake Alfred – at around 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
According to a release from the sheriff’s office, the toddler was not in a car seat and was ejected from the pickup truck after it left the road and rammed into multiple pine trees. Detectives said they are still trying to figure out whether the driver or the 5-year-old were wearing a seatbelt.
Traffic homicide detectives arrested the driver, 30-year old Guadalupe Najera Santana, after they determined she was impaired at the site of the crash. Multiple opened and unopened containers of beer were allegedly found in the car.
Santana’s breath was tested at the Polk County Jail, reportedly providing readings of 0.141 and 0.139. Santana was charged with DUI manslaughter, 2 counts of negligent child abuse, DUI serious bodily injury, DUI with property damage, DUI, and driving with an expired license.
“It is absolutely maddening, with so many other options available, that someone would choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “The result of this woman’s poor choice is the death of one child, and the very serious injury to another child.”
PCSO said Santana lives in Polk City, but was born in Mexico and is staying in the country on an expired work visa.
Deputies said they are still investigating the crash.