The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal two-vehicle crash that occurred just after midnight on Sunday, January 31, 2021, near Mulberry that resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy and the arrest of one of the drivers for DUI manslaughter and other charges.
The crash occurred at about 12:22 AM, on State Road 60 at Coronet Road.
When deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue arrived at the scene, they found Joel Orozco unresponsive in the median of the highway. The boy was airlifted to St. Joseph Hospital in Tampa where he died of his injuries.
Another child, 14-year-old Angel Orozco of Plant City, was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for a broken collar bone, and was treated and released.
42-year-old Andres Orozco of Wauchula, was transported to Lakeland Regional Heath with a broken neck and broken leg, and is listed in critical but stable condition.
The driver of the other vehicle, 30-year-old Mario Martinez of Mulberry, was treated and released at Lakeland Regional Health for a broken leg. He was then arrested and transported to the Polk County Jail and charged with DUI Manslaughter, DUI Crash with Serious Injury-2 counts, DUI, and Driving without a Valid License.
The roadway was shut down for approximately five hours while the PCSO Traffic Homicide Unit was investigating at the scene.
According to the preliminary investigation, Mr. Orozco was driving a red 1997 Nissan pickup truck and pulling a trailer. Mr. Martinez was operating a white 2014 Toyota Corolla.
Mr. Orozco’s truck was travelling south on Coronet Road while Mr. Martinez’s Corolla was going west on SR 60 in the outside lane.
The pickup truck pulled into the intersection and into the path of the Corolla, which had the right-of-way.
Upon impact, Mr. Orozco and Joel Orozco were ejected from the truck, and the Corolla caught on fire. Bystanders pulled Angel Orozco from the truck.
It was determined that none of the Orozcos were wearing their seatbelts, but Mr. Martinez had been.
This crash remains under investigation.