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Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
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Man sought in fatal Polk County crash

A 23-year-old man is being sought by the Polk County sheriff in connection with a crash that resulted in the death of a a female passenger.

Darrius “D.J.” Austin, of 244 Kings Pond Road in Winter Haven, is being sought in the crash. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said he has an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a burglary charge.

About 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Saddle Creek Corp. tractor-trailer was heading north on Fish Hatchery Road, when it crossed the intersection with Saddle Creek Road and collided with a white 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, the sheriff’s office said. The driver of the Malibu fled the scene on foot.

The passenger in the car, China Harris, 24, of Lakeland, was critically injured in the crash Tuesday and died Wednesday at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. She was the registered owner of the Malibu.

Anyone who knows where to find Austin is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (863) 298.6200. Or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or go to www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.

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