1 dead, 3 injured in head-on crash in Winter Haven

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Deputies are investigating a head-on collision that left one man dead and three others injured in Winter Haven on Sunday.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said the crash happened just before noon on Cypress Gardens Blvd, west of US Highway 27.

According to deputies, 22-year-old Nannette Cruz Garcia of Orlando was driving eastbound in a 2003 Toyota Corolla when she crossed over the raised median and crashed head-on into a 2007 PT Cruiser that was traveling westbound on Cypress Gardens Blvd.

The driver of the PT Cruiser was a 15-year-old boy who was driving legally with a learner's permit, the sheriff's office said. Also in the car was the teen's 7-year-old sister and 57-year-old father, Sandeep Kumar Beri. The family is from Winter Haven.

Beri was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, where he later died. The 15-year-old was also taken to the hospital and is in stable condition, deputies said.

Meanwhile, the 7-year-old girl was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando because of her age, and is listed in stable condition.

Garcia was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and is in critical condition, the sheriff's office said.

“This was just a devastating crash,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. ” It is a reminder for all of us to drive safely and remain aware of our surroundings while driving. Our sympathies and prayers go out to the Beri family for their loss.”

All of the occupants in the PT Cruiser were wearing their seatbelts, but deputies said Garcia was not wearing her seatbelt at at the time of the crash.

Investigators said it is not known why Garcia crossed over the median.