POLK COUNTY, FL – A 30-year-old Polk County man who tried to leave the scene of a fatal crash was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter, among other crimes.
Eduardo Mora Mata of Lake Wales was driving a 1996 blue GMC Jimmy SUV north on State Road 25 in Frostproof at around 11 p.m. Tuesday when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle and went off the road, crossing over the median and rolling over several times. The vehicle then burst into flames.
Mata’s passenger, Oliver Martinez Garcia, 22, of Lake Wales, was ejected from the SUV and died after hitting the pavement.
Passenger Evodio Gallardo Garcia, 32, helped another passenger, Noe Garcia, to safety. Noe Garcia is listed in critical condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Mata and a fourth passenger, Manuel Santiz, fled the scene of the accident and ran into the woods. Authorities later found Mata, who is currently being treated at Tampa General Hospital.
Mata is facing DUI manslaughter charges as well as leaving the scene of a crash involving death, leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver license.
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