Traffic Homicide detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Auburndale man on Friday, December 31, 2021, following the conclusion of their fatal crash investigation which started nearly five months prior.
26-year old Sergio Ramirez-Padilla was arrested at his home and charged with DUI Manslaughter (F2), Driving While License Suspended/Revoked Resulting in Death (F3), and DUI Causing Property Damage (2-counts, M1).
The crash occurred on August 2, 2021 on K-Ville Avenue, east of Rowell Street in the unincorporated area of Auburndale.
The investigation showed that Ramirez-Padilla’s Ford Explorer crossed over the center line and struck a 2008 Chevy Malibu head-on.
The driver of the Malibu was 33-year old Sean Rhodan of Lakeland. Mr. Rhodan died from his injuries after he was taken to an area hospital.
Ramirez-Padilla also sustained some non-life threatening injuries in the crash.
A third vehicle was involved in the crash when it struck debris from the other two vehicles, but there were no injuries to its occupants.
During Ramirez-Padilla’s treatment at the hospital immediately after the crash, blood-samples were taken. Those samples were tested—and these results were recently received by traffic homicide detectives and revealed that Ramirez-Padilla’s Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC) was 0.142 g/dL (grams per deciliter). The legal threshold is 0.08 g/dL.
“This arrest obviously won’t bring back the victim; his family is still dealing with a great loss. But I’m pleased that our detectives have completed a thorough investigation so that the man responsible can be brought to justice. This is a sad reminder of what can happen when people choose to drive while impaired.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
During his first appearance hearing, Ramirez-Padilla was assigned a total bond of $16,000.
He was released from the Polk County Jail on January 2, 2021 after posting bond.