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Tampa woman driving without headlights killed in wrong-way crash in Polk County

Deputies said the woman killed was driving the wrong way Monday night and without headlights on.
A 51-year-old Tampa woman is dead and a 19-year-old Polk woman is in the hospital after a wrong-way crash involving two vehicles on Highway 17-92 Monday night.
A 51-year-old Tampa woman is dead and a 19-year-old Polk woman is in the hospital after a wrong-way crash involving two vehicles on Highway 17-92 Monday night. [ Polk County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Jan. 7, 2020|Updated Jan. 7, 2020

A 51-year-old Tampa woman is dead and a 19-year-old Polk woman is in the hospital after a wrong-way crash involving two vehicles on Highway 17-92 Monday night.

Witnesses say Tammi Hillman, of Tampa, was driving a red 2003 Buick Regal westbound in an inside eastbound lane just before 9:30 p.m. when she collided with a red 2010 Ford Fusion being driven by Keeli Gonzalez, 19, of Haines City, in the inside eastbound lane, according to a news release issued by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning.

Hillman’s vehicle did not have its headlights on at the time of the crash, which occurred about 100 feet east of Friendly Court in Lake Alfred, between Lake Alfred and Haines City, PCSO spokesman Scott Wilder said.

Highway 17-92 is mostly an east/west four-lane road with a speed limit of 60 miles per hour, and the crash occurred in the inside left lane of the eastbound side, Wilder said.

Traffic deputies report the area of Highway 17-92 where the crash occurred is straight and has no street lights.

Deputies said there were no signs that either vehicle hit the brakes before the front of the Ford Focus struck the front of the Buick Regal, sending both vehicles spinning to the inside left lane of the road.

Investigators reported that Hillman was not wearing her seat belt. Gonzalez was wearing her seatbelt, Wilder said.

Airbags in both vehicles were activated because of the crash.

Witnesses removed Hillman from inside her vehicle before first responders arrived and gave her CPR, Wilder said.

Polk County Fire Rescue medics took over the CPR when they arrived. Hillman was transported to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, where she died, the PCSO said.

Gonzalez was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, where she is listed in stable condition, Wilder said.

Investigators said Gonzalez showed no signs of impairment and the cause of the crash, other than the wrong-way driving aspect, is under investigation.

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