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Polk woman accused of hit-and-run, child abuse turns herself in: Police

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 10:35:56-05

Police said a Haines City woman accused of driving head-on into a vehicle and causing an unrestrained child to be injured on Monday morning finally turned herself in on Tuesday night.

Taquire Studimire, 34, faces charges of child abuse, tampering, reckless driving, hit and run and resisting arrest without violence, police say.

Authorities say she drove her 2008 Honda Civic into the front of a garbage truck in the area of North 14th Street and Stuart Avenue before 8:30 a.m. on Monday. The driver of the truck told police that he honked his horn to try to avoid being hit, but was unsuccessful. Studimire then exited the vehicle with a young child in her hand and told the driver that he was at fault for the crash.

Video recordings from the truck's dash camera showed the child sitting unrestrained in the front and being thrown into the dash as the vehicles collided. Studimire is then seen grabbing the child from the floorboard and immediately exiting the vehicle to confront the truck driver.

Police say at no point was she ever seen taking time to examine the child for potential injury. After confronting the truck's driver, she reentered the vehicle and backed into traffic with the driver's side door open, almost hitting another vehicle.

The child was later located at a daycare facility after suffering a head bruise and a swollen cheek. The child was taken to a hospital but did not suffer any serious injuries.

"The blatant disregard shown for this child is appalling," Chief Jim Elensky said. "She proceeded to put others in danger with her carelessness and has taken no responsibility for her actions. Perhaps jail time is what she needs to mull it over. It is fortunate that no one was seriously hurt."

Officers had a warrant for Studimire's arrest and made contact with her by phone but could not locate her.

Studimire, according to the Haines City Police Department, turned herself in on Tuesday night.