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Polk County mother, teenage daughter killed in early morning crash

Posted at 4:08 PM, May 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 02:54:47-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — A mother in Polk County and her teenage daughter were killed in an early morning crash on Sunday, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Venus Drayton, 33, and her 16-year-old daughter Tiara Johnson were hit by a vehicle near the intersection of Skyview Drive and Goodyear Avenue in Lakeland around 2:45 a.m.

Deputies say 33-year-old Nicholas Christie of Tampa was driving eastbound on Skyview Drive when he thought he saw a trash bag in the road. He told deputies he attempted to swerve around it, but wasn't able to.

The sheriff's office says he was driving a rented white Dodge Ram pick-up truck.

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Christie told deputies "something didn't feel right," after he ran over the trash bag, so he turned around. That's when deputies say he realized he hit Drayton and Johnson. He waited at the scene for law enforcement to arrive, the sheriff's office says.

Drayton was dead when first responders got to the scene, according to the sheriff's office. Johnson was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where she later died from her injuries.

Friends were with the victims in their home on Goodyear Avenue right before the crash. They told deputies Johnson ran out of the home for unknown reasons. Her mother, Drayton, followed.

The friends told deputies they came out of the home when they heard the crash. They say they found that both were hit by a vehicle.

Deputies say no charges are expected at this time, pending the results of a blood test.