Crash kills Frostproof brother and sister, injures three others

Posted at 9:51 AM, Oct 28, 2016

An early morning crash killed two teens, a brother and sister, in Polk County on Friday.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's office, the crash happened on US-27 at the intersection of Princeton Ave. around 6:20 a.m.

Deputies said Jorge Lara, 18, was driving a Jeep with his sister, Melanie Lara, 15, in the passenger seat. They were heading to Frostproof High School where both are students.

The teens were struck by a Chevrolet Silverado pickup as Lara attempted to turn onto US 27.   Both teens died at the scene.

"When I first found out I just busted into tears because he was close to me, and then today, I didn’t do nothing. I just needed to take a break," said Javier Aguiler, friend of Jorge at Frostproof High School.

Classmates described a somber scene a school after news of the crash spread.

"Everybody was crying and running to the guidance counsels and everything," said another friend of the two.

Grief counselors have been called to Frostproof High School.

Chaplains and victim advocates have been called to help the family.

Jose Vazquez-Rivera, 23, of Bartow was driving the the pickup.  He and passengers Francisco Herrera, 23, of Wahneta, and Luiz Lazos-Gomez, 32, of Wahneta were all transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.  

US Hwy 27 southbound was closed for five hours during the investigation, but has since reopened.

Investigators say there is no indication that excessive speed or impairment are factors.  It simply appears Lara did not see the truck before turning.