A Mulberry man was charged with DUI manslaughter after Joel Orozco died following a Jan. 31 incident.
A 12-year-old Plant City boy died in a two-vehicle crash near Mulberry early Sunday morning.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies said Mario Martinez, 30, of Mulberry, was driving a Toyota Corolla westbound on State Road 60 at approximately 12:22 a.m. while Andres Orozco, 42, of Wauchula, was traveling south on Coronet Road in a pickup truck with two passengers — the aforementioned Joel Orozco and Angel Orozco, 14, also of Plant City. Orozco pulled into the intersection into Martinez’s path and the impact ejected Joel and Andres Orozco from the truck. Angel Orozco was not ejected from the truck and got out with help from people nearby. No one in the truck wore a seatbelt but Martinez was wearing his. Martinez’s Corolla also caught fire and the roadway had to be shut down for five hours, PCSO said.
Deputies arrived to find Joel Orozco unresponsive in the median of the highway and he later died of his injuries after being airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Andres Orozco suffered a broken neck and broken leg and PCSO said he is in critical but stable condition. Angel Orozco suffered a broken collarbone but was later released from Lakeland Regional Health. Martinez suffered a broken leg and was treated and released at Lakeland Regional Health, and he was arrested upon release on charges of DUI manslaughter, DUI crash with serious injury (two counts), DUI and driving without a valid license.
PCSO is still investigating the crash.