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News Story
Updated: 11/20/2013 08:00:03AM

Bartown mother, infant killed in 80 Foot Road accident

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A Bartow woman and her infant daughter lost their lives Friday afternoon following a two-car accident on 80 Foot Road, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

According to reports, at around 2:10 p.m. Friday, a burgundy Nissan Altima being driven by 29-year-old Amanda Hughes of Bartow was traveling north on 80 Foot Road just north of Cow Pen Road. A white Chevrolet Silverado truck pulling a trailer that had a truck on it being driven by 60-year-old Pedro Hernandez of Bowling Green was traveling southbound on 80 Foot Road, north of Cow Pen Road.

According to witnesses, police reports indicated, the Altima was moving at a high rate of speed, swerved, then over-corrected and began to fishtail. The Altima then went sideways and entered into the southbound lanes into the path of the Silverado, police reported.

Hernandez tried to brake and avoid striking the Altima, however he was unable to avoid it, police said, and the truck struck the car on the passenger side as the car slid toward him.

The truck encroached into the car, to the point that the passenger side doors were touching the interior of the driver’s side doors, according to reports. Both vehicles rotated and came to rest on the west shoulder of 80 Foot Road.

Hughes died on scene as a result of the injuries sustained during the impact, police indicated. Her 6-month-old baby boy Eli Haas, also died on scene as a result of injuries sustained during the impact, reports indicated.

Hernandez and his passenger, 55-year-old Vernada Castillo of the same address in Bowling Green, were taken by ambulance to Bartow Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released for minor injuries.

They were both wearing their seat belts, according to the PCSO.

Hughes had a suspended Florida driver’s license, and was not wearing her seatbelt, according to a PCSO report. The baby was in a rear-facing car seat in the backseat of the car. Due to the extent of the encroachment and damage, deputies were unable to determine if the car seat was belted into the car.

Speed appears to be a factor in the crash, police said, and no charges are pending.

80 Foot Road was closed in the area of the accident for about five hours Friday, police added.


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