Car struck by train near Frostproof; injures one and kills two others, including a baby
A 20-year-old woman and her 4-month-old son died Thursday, April 22, 2021, shortly after the car they were riding in was struck by an Amtrak train; the driver of the vehicle, who is the boy’s aunt and the sister to the other victim, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. All three are from Avon Park.
The crash occurred at about 3:17 PM on South Scenic Highway, between Livingston Lake Road and US 98.
Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene and found Shala Cobb deceased. The little boy, Kingston Scott, suffered significant injuries and was transported to Florida Hospital Heartland in Sebring, but died upon arrival.
The driver was identified as 26-year-old Kayla Cobb. She suffered an injury to her leg and was transported to Lakeland Regional Health.
There were no injuries to anyone on the Amtrak train.
The family members were travelling in a white Kia sedan.
According to the preliminary investigation, the Kia was going south on South Scenic Highway, and the Amtrak train was also southbound. Evidence and witness statements revealed that as the train approached the road, the warning lights were operational and the crossing arms were in the down position.
The driver of the Kia drove the car around the crossing arms, and before it was able to clear the tracks, the train struck the car on the passenger side, behind the rear door. The impact split the car in half, propelling the backseat area about 50 feet. The child and his mother had been seated in that portion of the car, and were ejected.
Despite a child safety seat being found, the initial investigation indicates that none of the occupants were properly restrained in their seats.
The Florida Department of Transportation assisted with traffic control while Scenic Highway was closed for approximately four hours.
The crash remains under investigation.