Polk County Sheriff’s Traffic deputies arrested a Bartow man today, May 12, 2010, after investigation revealed he caused a two-car traffic crash in which a woman and her son were critically injured, and then fled the scene.
According to the witnesses who were interviewed by Traffic deputies, on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, around 7:45 p.m., a 2002 red Dodge Ram truck and a 1997 white GMC pickup truck were both traveling northbound on US Hwy 98 South, approaching Combee Road, when the trucks appeared to have cut each other off. According to the witnesses, both drivers exchanged words or gestures, and then both trucks continued traveling northbound in their respective lanes – the red Dodge was in the inside lane, and the white GMC was in the outside lane. As the two trucks approached Illinois Avenue, the white GMC pickup truck moved to the left, towards the red Dodge Ram, striking it two times.
As a result of being hit by the white GMC truck, the driver of the red Dodge truck lost control of his vehicle and crossed over into the opposite lane of travel, into the path of a 2007 black Ford Fusion which was traveling southbound, being driven by Amy S. Krupp, DOB 10/4/79, of 537 Oakleaf Drive, Apt. 3 in Lakeland. The two vehicles impacted nearly head-on, causing the Ford Fusion to run off the road and roll into a ditch, landing on its roof. Krupp and her 10-year-old son, Aaron Orr, were both critically injured, and have life-threatening injuries. Krupp was taken to LRMC, where she remains in critical condition. Her son Aaron Orr was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Both were wearing seatbelts.
The driver of the red Dodge truck, Joshua Moore, DOB 9/28/88 of 1920 De La Palma Avenue in Bartow, was taken to LRMC with minor injuries. He is expected to recover. It is not yet known if he was wearing a seatbelt.
The driver of the white GMC truck, after striking the red Dodge truck, fled the scene, but his tag number was recorded by a witness and that information was given to PCSO Traffic deputies investigating the crash. The tag number was BOLO’ed (Be On Look Out) locally and statewide, and deputies located the truck in Bartow on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. The truck is registered to Richard Waters, DOB 2/27/64, of 218 Alan Loop in Bartow, who was also located by deputies shortly after they found the truck. Damage to the truck matches the physical evidence left at the scene of the crash. Waters agreed to be interviewed by Traffic deputies. Waters admitted to driving the truck, to being at the scene when the crash occurred, and to leaving the scene of the crash. Waters has been placed under arrest and will be charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Serious Bodily Injuries. The on-duty judge has agreed to place him on “no bond” status until a first appearance hearing tomorrow (Thursday, May 13, 2010).
“The witness who obtained the suspect vehicle’s tag number is a true hero. That suspect is in the jail today because someone in the community did what community members do best – they helped us in our time of need. Without that key piece of information, we’d still be wondering who caused two people to be critically injured,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “Initial interviews with witnesses lead us to believe this was an intentional act due to reckless operation of a motor vehicle – not just a vehicle crash. The investigation is ongoing, and more charges against Richard Waters are pending.”