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Heartland Crime Stoppers


Jul 4, 2021
Media Contact : Brian Bruchey, PIO

SOLVED July 16, 2021 - Detectives have arrested 28-year-old Matthew David O'Neill and charged him with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, and tampering with evidence.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance from the community to identify the vehicle and driver involved in a hit and run crash that resulted in the death of a 14-year old girl and minor injuries to another 14-year old girl.

The hit & run occurred Sunday evening, July 4th, on New Tampa Highway (US 92), about a ½-mile east of Clark Road in Lakeland.

The victims were walking westbound on the north shoulder of the road when they were struck from behind by a pickup truck.

The driver of the vehicle did not stop to check on the children, and the truck continued westbound toward Hillsborough County.

Detectives recovered some evidence from the scene, as well as a still image of the vehicle.

The suspect’s vehicle is a white Ford F150 (1997-2003). The truck should have damage to the grill and possible additional front-end damage.

If you have any information that could help in identifying or locating the truck and/or the driver, please call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers:
* Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)
* From your cell phone, dial **TIPS
* Or visit the website and click on "Submit A Tip," * Or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet.
You will always remain anonymous when you send a tip through Crime Stoppers and you are eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.