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‘Devastating loss’: 18-year-old killed, 2 others injured in Plant City crash

PLANT CITY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly crash in Plant City.

Officials said on Tuesday around 11:45 p.m., a 2004 Ford Expedition, driven by a 16-year-old, was speeding on Ralston Road in Plant City.

As the Ford was coming up on the County Line Road, the driver lost control when the SUV hit a speed bump.

The vehicle ran off the roadway and hit a tree.

An 18-year-old passenger was ejected from the SUV and died at the scene.

Another passenger in the backseat, a 19-year-old, suffered not life-threatening injuries.

Both the driver and the passenger were transported to South Florida Baptist Hospital.

At this time, deputies do not believe alcohol or drugs contributed to the crash.

The driver and the 18-year-old victim both went to Armwood High School. The other passenger was a recent graduate.

School officials said grief councilors counselors will be available for any students or staff who want to talk at this time.

“Our hearts break for the victim, his family, and especially his friends who now have to live with this traumatic and devastating loss,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “The teen driver in this case had a learner’s permit, which under Florida law, means they can only get behind the wheel if there’s a person 21 years or older in the front passenger seat. This law exists for a reason and it’s imperative for parents to make sure their teen understands the dangers and rules of the road. We lost a young person who had a whole life ahead of them because of one bad decision that could have been avoided.”

This investigation is ongoing.

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