Child, Mother in critical condition after being struck by SUV in Dundee

Posted at 11:04 AM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 16:24:38-04

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating a traffic crash in Dundee involving a car that struck an adult and a child on Tuesday morning. 

The victims, a mother and her 7-year-old daughter, were transported to area hospitals where they remain in critical condition. 

Deputies say at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, a red 2002 GMC Envoy, driven by Stephen Raisor, 30, of Dundee, was traveling eastbound to his home, located on Weiberg Road, when the SUV struck two of four pedestrians. The pedestrians were walking westbound, heading to the bus stop located at 8th Street North and Weiberg Road. 

Deputies have identified the pedestrians as Consuelo Cristanos, 41, Esmeralda Garcia, 7, Violeta Garcia, 13, and Giovanni Ramirez-Diaz, a small child being babysat by Consuelo.

At the time of the accident, the mother was walking Violeta to her bus stop for Dundee Ridge Middle School. Deputies say Consuelo and Esmeralda, were in the roadway and Violeta and Giovanni were in the grass alongside the road. 

"It’s heartbreaking. Because the family, they have been here for a good 15 years. It’s sad," said Norma Gonzalez, who lives next door to the family.

The driver told deputies he was clearing condensation from his windshield and did not see the mother and child in the road. After hitting them, he got out of the SUV with his wife, helped the woman and child, and called 9-1-1. 

"The feel really bad," said Charles Hunt, who talked to both the driver and his wife after the accident.

"Matter of fact it was my niece that hit them. They said they worked all night, just got off of work, and they didn’t see them on the highway," he said.
Neighbors tell ABC Action News that they have complained before about the dangers of walking on the side of the road, trying to get to bus stops, not to mention the lack of lighting and people speeding.

Consuelo was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center and is listed in critical condition. 

Esmeralda was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and later transferred to TGH where she is now listed in serious condition. 

The other pedestrians were not injured in the crash. 

Deputies say the roadway in the area was dark at the time of the crash. Speed and impairment do not appear to be factors. 

Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash.