A 17-year-old Polk County high school student is recovering after being left for dead in a ditch during a hit-and-run accident.
Investigators say the teen was walking along Swindell Road sometime after 6 a.m. Tuesday when she was struck from behind and thrown into a water-filled ditch.
She may have been in the ditch for 15 minutes to a half hour before anyone heard her screaming for help, according to reports.
A grade-school child walking to a bus stop heard the teen and ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
Emergency medical responders took the teen to a hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery for her badly broken legs.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office thinks the hit-and-run vehicle may have been a 2000 to 2006 Chevrolet or GMC dark-colored SUV.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at 800-226-TIPS (8477).
A hit-and-run accident is one where the at-fault driver does not stop at the accident scene. The law in Florida makes it very clear that a driver who hits someone with a car or other motor vehicle needs to stop and stay at the scene. Failure to comply, can result in felony charges, and it adds significant risk to the injury victim(s) whose injuries can continue to worsen if no one else is nearby to help.