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Bartow high school senior airlifted to hospital after SR-60 crash that killed 2 people

Seven people were inside the SUV when it collided with the teen's red pickup truck. Four people inside were ejected.

MULBERRY, Fla. — A Bartow High School senior on her way to school is now fighting for her life at Tampa General Hospital after being involved in a deadly crash Tuesday morning on State Road 60 in Polk County, Sheriff Grady Judd said. 

The crash happened around 5:41 a.m. on SR-60 near Pine Grove Road. The Bartow senior was driving a red pickup truck heading eastbound toward the school when the driver of an SUV made a left turn in front of her in an attempt to turn south onto Pine Grove Road. The two drivers ended up crashing into each other as a result. 

Judd said it appears at this time the SUV driver didn't see the red pickup truck when it tried to make the turn. 

Seven people were inside the SUV at the time of the crash; four people inside, who Judd said clearly weren't wearing seatbelts, were thrown from the SUV. 

Two people landed in the road and two others landed in the treeline near the woods.

One person died at the scene. A second person taken to a hospital in Lakeland also died, Judd said. A third person in emergency surgery may also die, Judd added. 

Everyone else was taken to the hospital for treatment; their conditions range from "stable to critical," Judd said. 

The teen was airlifted with "significant injuries" along with another person to Tampa General Hospital. 

The SUV driver apparently "failed to see this red pickup truck," the sheriff said. The driver was reportedly picking up some of his team before heading to their construction job. 

"This was a horrible day for one group of people to start their work day and one young lady who was trying to get to Bartow High School for school today as she neared the end of her high school education and was set to graduate [soon]," Judd said. 

At least this portion of S.R. 60 is closed as of 10 a.m. There is no word yet on when this stretch of road will reopen.

Polk County Schools released the following statement: 

"BHS staff are in contact with the student’s family and offering their assistance. We have not sent crisis counselors to the school at this time, but mental health staff are always available on site for anyone who needs help. 

We’re wishing the best for the student and her family, and hope that she will make a swift and full recovery."

Watch Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd's full news conference below or by clicking here

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