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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Mother, baby killed in Bartow crash, deputies say

A mother and her 6-month-old son were killed this afternoon in a crash in Bartow, Polk County sheriff’s deputies said.

About 2:10 p.m., a Nissan Altima driven by Amanda Hughes, 29, of Bartow was traveling north on 80 Foot Road near Cow Pen Road. Meanwhile, a Chevrolet Silverado truck pulling a trailer that had a truck on it driven by Pedro Hernandez, 60, of Bowling Green was southbound on 80 Foot Road in the same area.

According to witnesses, the Altima, which was going at a high rate of speed, swerved, then over-corrected and began to fishtail. It then went sideways and entered the southbound lanes into the path of the Silverado.

Hernandez tried to brake but was unable to avoid a collision, deputies said, and the truck struck the Nissan on the passenger side as the car slid toward him.

Hughes and her son, infant Eli Haas, died at the scene, deputies said.

Hernandez and his passenger, Vernada Castillo, 55, were taken by ambulance to Bartow Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released for minor injuries.

Hughes had a suspended Florida driver’s license and was not wearing her seatbelt, deputies said.

No charges are pending, deputies said.

The roadway reopened around 7 p.m.

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