A 14-year-old was behind the wheel in a multivehicle crash Monday that killed her mother and 8-year-old sister, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said Destiny Ensslin, of Fort Meade, was driving on U.S. 17 in Homeland – between Bartow and Fort Meade – when she turned into the path of a van. Both vehicles then hit another car.
The sheriff's office said the teen's sister, Delaney Ensslin, was in the back seat and died at the scene. Their 42-year-old mother, Dawn Ensslin, was pronounced dead at Bartow Regional Medical Center. The teen was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in stable but critical condition.
It was unclear why the teen was driving, deputies said.
About 4:30 p.m., Destiny Ensslin was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt north and turned west onto County Road 640 and crossed into the path of a van driver by Doris Foust, 77, of Fort Meade, who was headed south on U.S. 17, deputies said.
The crash sent Foust's 2005 Dodge Caravan rolling, and it landed on its driver's side. Foust and her front-seat passenger, husband Richard Foust, 80, were transported by ambulance to Bartow Regional with minor injuries, the sheriff's office said.
The car and van hit a 2001 Toyota Corolla driven by Martha Criswell, 56, of Fort Meade, who was turning from C.R. 640 south onto U.S. 17. She was taken by car to Bartow Regional with minor injuries.
News Channel 8 reporter Chip Osowski contributed to this report.