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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Winter Haven Woman Learns The Hard Way After Leaving Scene Of Fender Bender

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On Saturday, December 30, 2023, a Polk County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a two-vehicle crash with minor property damage on Spirit Lake Road at the entrance to The Villages at Spirit Lake subdivision. When the deputy arrived, only one vehicle involved remained at the scene. That driver told the deputy that an unknown female in a white pickup truck struck her vehicle, a Toyota Camry, and then got out of the truck and declared that there was no damage to either vehicle. As the person who was hit called law enforcement, the at-fault driver immediately got back in her truck and left the scene. The person who was hit had damage to the rear of her car.

The deputy spoke with residents nearby, one of whom had the crash on video surveillance. The video clearly showed the white truck and its license plate, which was registered to another resident in that neighborhood, 39-year-old Ashley Welch. The deputy contacted Welch, who agreed to meet him later at her home. When the deputy arrived, he asked her where her white truck was, and she said she parked it at another location. Deputies eventually tracked down the truck and confirmed it was the one involved in the crash.

Welch was issued a citation for leaving the scene of a crash with property damage without providing information, and was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail. She was released that evening after posting $250.00 bond. Welch is employed as a nurse practitioner at Advent Health Sebring.

“All Ms. Welch had to do was stop and exchange information. She turned a minor fender-bender into an arrest. Crashes are inconvenient and a part of life. We ask everyone to follow the law and do what’s right.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

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