A driver and 9-year-old child were killed Monday when a vehicle crossed a median on U.S. 27 in Haines City and drove into oncoming traffic, police said.
The crash occurred about 4 p.m. as Melvalin Powell Bryan of Winter Haven headed north on U.S. 27 near Patterson Road, according to the Haines City Police Department.
For reasons still unknown, the Mazda CX9 driven by Bryan left the northbound lanes, crossed the center median and entered the southbound lanes.
Bryan’s vehicle sideswiped a Lexus and then struck a Hyundai Elantra, police said.
The Elantra then collided with a Toyota Camry, coming to rest on its hood, police said.
Kemarion Hunter, 9, a passenger in the Mazda, died at Arnold Palmer Hospital, police said. Keara Hunter, 8, who was also in the Mazda, is in critical condition. Bryan, the Mazda's driver, is stable.
Eric Frazier, 57, of Winter Haven, the Elantra’s driver, was pronounced dead at the scene. Cierra Wright, 10, a passenger in the Elantra, is in stable but critical condition.
A total of five children and two adults were taken to hospitals after the crash.
"Our school family is deeply saddened by the loss of Kemarion Hunter," officials from the 9-year-old's school told ABC Action News. "Kemarion was a well-rounded student who was loved by his classmates and teacher. He was personable, considerate, and a good friend who met us each day with a smile on his face. Our hearts are heavy today; Kemarion will truly be missed."