Polk County deputies arrest hit-and-run driver that killed a mother of two

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 21:28:38-04

UPDATE |  An anonymous tip called in to Heartland Crimes Stoppers led Polk County sheriff's deputies to the suspect in a fatal hit and run traffic crash that claimed the life of a Tampa woman and seriously injured a Polk deputy, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said. 

Charles Lewis, 71, of Lake Wales, was taken into custody in connection with the death of Jessica Enchautegui of Tampa and injuries suffered by Polk County sheriff's Deputy Adam Pennell. 

During questioning, Lewis told sheriff's investigators he was the driver of the pickup truck that hit Enchautegui and Deputy Pennell on a grass median on State Road 60 in Lake Wales the morning of Oct. 29, Judd said.

The two victims were found about 12:45 a.m. Oct. 29 lying in the median by paramedics who had been dispatched by Pennell after Enchautegui was involved in a previous single-vehicle crash.

Lewis told investigators he attended a party and drank beer prior to the traffic accident, Judd said. Lewis drove onto the median to avoid hitting the deputy's patrol car with emergency lights activated.

Judd said Lewis told investigators he knew he hit something but did not realize it was two people.

Lewis asked the victims to forgive him. Judd said it was too late for that. 



Jessica Enchautegui's two children are in shock after learning that their mother was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Saturday morning.

"I know it happened, but its hard for my mind to believe that it actually happened, so I need time to process," said 11-year-old Kenneth Pazanski.

Enchautegui was driving on State Road 60 Saturday morning near Lake Wales when she rolled her vehicle.  Deputy Adam Pennell found Enchautegui in the median with injuries.  He called for paramedics, but when they arrived both Pennell and Enchautegui were badly injured.  Investigators believe a driver hit the two and then fled the scene.

"We don't have a whole lot of leads right now, there wasn't a whole lot of evidence left behind at the scene, obviously Deputy Pennell didn't see who hit him," said PCSO spokesperson Carrie Horstman.

Investigators are hoping a tip from the public will help solve the case.

Deputy Pennell is in the hospital awaiting surgery this week.  Enchautegui's family is preparing for her funeral.

"I still cry and stuff a lot about it but since I've known her my whole live its hard to believe that this actually happened," said Pazanski.

Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward in this case. Call 1-800-226-8477 if you have any information that can lead to an arrest. Anonymity is guaranteed.