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5-year-old killed after father runs red light in Polk County after attempted traffic stop

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-02 16:55:06-05

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. — Authorities say a 5-year-old boy was killed after his dad ran a red light following an attempted traffic stop and crashed.

Ayden Cabanas, 5, suffered severe head trauma in the December 23 accident after the vehicle hit a car then slammed into a pole and overturned. He was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa but died of his injuries.

Authorities say his father Austin Cabanas, 26, was driving the car with Ayden, Shannon Yawn, 24, and a 3-year-old girl inside. He was driving 68 to 73 mph in the 35 mph zone, deputies say.

Lake Alfred Police say the crash happened after an officer attempted to stop the vehicle. Austin ran the light and hit a vehicle driven by 23-year-old Cole Ethridge.

Austin admitted to authorities he was driving with a suspended license. A blood test later showed he had methamphetamines in his system.

Authorities say Yawn admitted the children were not properly secured and that Cabanas could have been speeding. She says she didn't know there was an officer behind their vehicle at the time of the crash.

"Cabanas was reckless and negligent, he is responsible for the death of his 5 year old son," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "When law enforcement makes a traffic stop, you pull over. It's that simple. You don't recklessly flee endangering the lives of others."

Austin was taken to Lakeland Regional Health after complaining of chest pains. Authorities say he became combative at the hospital and was unable to be interviewed by authorities.

Austin was arrested at a New Year's Eve party at his home and charged with vehicular homicide. He is being held in the Polk County Jail without bond. He has prior arrests for driving without a valid drivers license.