On Thursday, November 3, the Polk County’s Sherriff’s Office arrested the driver responsible for the death of a mother and critically injuring a deputy in a hit-and-run collision that occurred on Saturday, October 29. Before the arrest was made, the Heartland Crime Stoppers received a tip about the suspect’s vehicle that might have been involved in the crash, which occurred on Saturday, at about 12:40 AM, off the westbound State Route 60 in Lake Wales.
The Traffic Homicide Unit of the Polk County’s Sherriff’s Office responded and saw a Ford F-150 leaving a residential area. A traffic stop was performed, and the driver was positively identified as the suspect in the hit-and-run accident. Seventy-one-year-old Charles “Charlie” Lewis of Lake Wales was arrested.
Lewis admitted that he was at a party on Friday evening, October 28, where he consumed alcoholic beverages and proceeded to drive home. He explained to the deputies that he knew he crashed into something but was unsure of what the object was. He continued to express remorse for killing Jessica Enchautegui-Otero and seriously injuring Deputy Sheriff Adam Pennell.
In an interview, Sheriff Grady Judd stated, “Never underestimate the power of the community […] Thanks to an anonymous tip, we were able to solve this case, and help bring some closure to these two families whose lives were forever changed by the reckless actions of Charlie Lewis.”
Attorney Kevin Kohl of Boswell & Dunlap LLP remarked, “It certainly makes it easier to convict […] A lot of times it’s difficult putting someone behind the wheel and even if you can identify the vehicle, you have to identify who’s driving.”
According to Sheriff Judd, Lewis will spend the remainder of his life in Polk County Jail.