TAMPA — A 17-year-old boy was killed when he was hit by a minivan while walking to school Wednesday morning on a dark road in Polk County.
The boy, Enrique Hernandez, of Auburndale, was walking north on Old Dixie Highway near U.S. 92 about 6:20 a.m. on his way to Tenoroc High School, Polk County sheriff's officials said.
On a stretch of the road where there are no streetlights or sidewalks, a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan approached from behind.
The driver, Prakash Patel, 50, of Lakeland, tried to steer away but was unable to avoid hitting the teen, authorities said. Hernandez was thrown onto the west shoulder while the van veered east into a roadside ditch.
Patel got out of the van and tried to help Hernandez, authorities said, but he died at the scene.
An initial investigation determined neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the crash.