Ocala, Florida — The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed that at least one person is dead following a tragic street racing accident that occurred in Marion Oaks.
The driver, Ethan J. Ruiz, 19, was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center, and is listed in critical condition.
The female passenger, Charisma Francisco, 17, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Marion County Fire Rescue crews had to extricate both occupants from the vehicle.
According to troopers at the scene, Ruiz was Francisco’s uncle.
The accident happened on Marion Oaks Boulevard near Southwest 145th Place Road.
A preliminary investigation suggested that two vehicles, which were allegedly street racing, were traveling south on Marion Oaks Boulevard when Ruiz lost control of his blue Honda, veered off the road, and smashed into a concrete light pole. The impact snapped the pole in half, and nearly split the car into two pieces.
According to witnesses, the second vehicle fled the scene, however FHP has not been able to confirm those statements at this time.
Troopers said that speed was definitely a factor in the crash.
Francisco was in her junior year at West Port High School.
Troopers said that it is early in the investigation and more information would be released when it becomes available.