The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a single-vehicle crash that occurred Friday afternoon, April 3, 2020, in which four people from Dade City were injured and a toddler was killed.
The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a 9-1-1 call at about 4:42 p.m. reporting the crash on US 98, about one mile south of SR 471 in the northwest area of the county. Emergency responders arrived and determined Mariana Diaz Romero, 19-months, was deceased at the scene.
The driver of the car, 31-year-old Glenda Yaneth Romero De Diaz was transported to Lakeland Regional Health with head injuries, along with front-seat passenger Isidoro Gamadiel Diaz Del Cid, 31, who suffered a broken ankle and breast bone.
Two children who were back-seat passengers were transported to Saint Joseph Hospital in Tampa. They were identified as 10-year old Jonathan Asael Diaz Romero and 5-year-old Maybelline Diaz Romero.
According to the preliminary investigation, the Chevy Cavalier was travelling north on US 98 and began passing another vehicle, despite an oncoming vehicle traveling south. Ms. Romero De Diaz swerved left to avoid collision and went off the west side of the road. The car continued through a wire fence and into a wooded area where it struck a pine tree.
It was determined that only the driver was using a seat belt at the time of the crash. The toddler was in a child safety seat, but it was not secured.
US 98 was completely closed for one hour, but one lane of traffic was reopened to allow for alternating traffic flow for four hours.
The investigation is ongoing.