Polk student struck by car released from hospital

John Camfield was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident.

POINCIANA, Fla. -- One of the five students struck last week by an alleged drunken driver as they walked home from the school bus has been released from the hospital. One of the students died.

Juan Mena, 13, has returned home after the crash Thursday afternoon. Mena suffered serious, life-threatening injuries which include spinal injuries, facial fractures, and head trauma.

Jahiem Robertson, also 13, died from his injuries. 

John Camfield, 48, of Davenport, hit the children, who attend Dundee Ridge Middle Academy on Allegheny Road near Athabasca in Poinciana, and then hit a parked car at around 5 p.m., according to the Polk  County Sheriff's Office.

 

A witness was driving northbound behind Camfield and saw him lean forward in the vehicle and then drive off the road, the sheriff's office said. The witness then saw Camfield hit the students.

Investigators say Camfield struck 15-year-old Jonte Robinson with a glancing blow with the passenger side of the vehicle to his left arm and left leg. Jonte was complaining of pain to his wrist and ankle.

Camfield continued north on the shoulder, hitting 14-year-old Jasmine Robertson. Jasmine complained of back pain.

Rylan Pryce, 12, was also struck by the car with a glancing blow and complained of pain to his left arm.

Camfield continued off the road struck two students – 13-year-old Jahiem Robertson (Jasmine's brother) and 13-year-old Juan Mena.

Camfield was arrested Thursday and faces two counts DUI with serious bodily injury, two counts leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, two counts leaving the scene of a crash with bodily injury, three counts DUI with injury and property damage, and reckless driving.

His bail was set at $600,000 during his first court appearance Friday, according to The Associated Press.

Camfield was caught by Jonathan Quintana, an off-duty Polk County deputy, who lives in the area and was alerted to the crash when he got a call from his screaming daughter, who saw the accident. The sheriff's office said he ran out of his home barefoot to the scene.

According to Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, Camfield worked for 10 law enforcement agencies from 1994 to 2012 in Mississippi.

Judd said a former employer said that Camfield was one of the very best detectives but he had a problem with alcohol. Judd said that Camfield used to say he had a relationship with Captain Morgan, a brand of rum.

Judd said that Camfield had arrests in Mississippi on charges of DUI, driving with a suspended license and public intoxication.

Seven hours after the crash, his blood alcohol level was .147, Judd said.

Judd said that Camfield was so drunk during his arrest he fell into the deputy's patrol car.

Dundee Ridge Middle Academy released the following statement on Friday.


"We are deeply saddened to inform you that one of our students, Jahiem Robertson, has passed away from injuries he suffered yesterday evening after being struck by an intoxicated driver in his neighborhood.

We are devastated by this news, and wish to extend our condolences and prayers to Jaheim’s family and friends. Four additional students from our school were impacted by yesterday’s incident, and one student remains at the hospital with serious injuries. Our entire school family and community will continue to keep these students in our thoughts and prayers.

Counselors are available for any students or staff who need assistance. We thank you for your support during this difficult time."

Thank you,
Principal Stacy Gideons

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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