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A single-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon, August 2, 2023 in Lakeland resulted in the deaths of a mother and her 9-year-old son.
Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched at about 4:30 pm, along with Polk County Fire Rescue to Tom Costine Road west of Beverly Hills Road. Upon arrival, emergency responders located 43-year-old Tera Kita and 9-year-old Brandon Arcadipane, both from Lakeland, deceased at the scene.
According to the investigation so far Ms. Kita was driving a gold 2000 Chevrolet S10 Blazer northbound. As she began to take the right-hand curve, the rear wheels of the Blazer lost traction and the SUV began to slide. The SUV then exited the road on the south shoulder where it rolled upside down into a water-filled ditch.
“This is devastating - a family has lost a mother and a son, and our hearts break for them.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
Heavy rain was reported in the area at the time of the crash. The road was closed for approximately 4 hours during the investigation, which remains on-going.