MULBERRY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 24-year-old unlicensed, undocumented immigrant is accused of causing a wreck on S.R. 60 West in Willow Oak that claimed the lives of two people early Tuesday morning.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Elmer Bryan Giron-Canil, of Mulberry, was driving west on S.R. 60 W when he entered the left turn lane in the median. At the same time, an 18-year-old Bartow High School student was driving in the opposite direction in her red 1996 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck.
As the teen approached, deputies said Canil turned south onto Pine Grove Road but instead pulled into the path of the Chevrolet, striking its passenger side.
The impact caused the pickup to spin around and stop facing west in the eastbound lanes. The Expedition also spun causing four passengers to be ejected from the SUV. Two of whom, a 33-year-old man and a 62-year-old man, died as a result of the crash.
The 18-year-old student was rushed to an area hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.
Canil told detectives he saw the pickup’s headlights approaching, but thought he could make it across. Deputies said Canil did not have a driver’s license because he was in the country illegally.
“Not only is Canil in the country illegally, but his criminal actions have cost two people their lives and caused catastrophic injuries to others,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Our prayers are with the victims and families affected by this horrific crash.”
Canil was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. He was arrested on six counts of negligently operating a motor vehicle and causing serious injury or death to a person while not possessing a driver’s license, and driving without a valid license. Bond was set at $150,000.
A portion of S.R. 60 West was closed for approximately 4 hours during the on-site crash investigation.