Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

14-year-old driver crashes in Homeland, killing mother, 8-year-old sister

HOMELAND — A 14-year-old girl driving a car Monday in this Polk County community caused a crash that killed her mother and younger sister, authorities said.

The crash occurred about 4:30 p.m. as Destiny Ensslin of Fort Meade was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt north on U.S. 17, about 20 miles south of Lakeland.

She turned west onto County Road 640 and drove into the path of a Dodge Caravan minivan.

The impact slammed the two vehicles into a nearby Toyota Corolla, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Destiny's mother, Dawn Ensslin, 42, was in the front passenger seat at the time of the cash, and was taken to Bartow Regional Medical Center where she later died. Destiny's 8-year-old sister, Delaney, was in the back seat and died at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said.

Destiny was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where her condition was described as critical but stable.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Ensslin family," read a statement issued by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

It was not clear why a 14-year-old was driving.

The driver of the minivan, Doris Foust, 77, and her husband, Richard Foust, 80, were taken to Bartow Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Martha Criswell, 56, the driver of the Corolla, was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. All three were expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.

It was unknown whether anyone was wearing a seat belt, but deputies said no one was thrown from the vehicles during the collision.

An investigation continued.

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