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Plant City police: Speeding driver causes crash, killing woman

PLANT CITY — A speeding driver crashed his pickup truck into a minivan Monday morning — fatally injuring a woman — and tried to get away but was caught, authorities said.

The suspect, Edilmar Palacio-DeLeon, 38, of Plant City, faces felony charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving death and driving without a valid license that causes death or serious injury, according to jail records.

The driver of the minivan, identified by police as Basila Santana, 75, suffered internal injuries and died during emergency surgery.

Plant City police said the crash happened just after 11 a.m. near 4006 Airport Road.

When officers arrived, they said they found Santana and two passengers in her 1995 Mercury Villager with serious injuries.

They also learned from witnesses that Palacio-DeLeon had run from the scene before they arrived. With the help of witnesses, officers captured him as he was attempting to flee in another vehicle, police said.

Investigators said Palacio-DeLeon had been speeding south through a parking lot. As he drove his 2003 Ford F-150 out of the lot, he failed to stop and crashed into the minivan, sending it into a fence, police said.

Santana was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital, where serious injuries were discovered. She was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital but died.

The names and conditions of the injured passengers were not released.

The crash remained under investigation Monday.

Plant City police: Speeding driver causes crash, killing woman 10/22/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 9:58am]

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