VERNON - A four-year-old passenger died in a car crash Wednesday late afternoon. Investigators with Florida Highway Patrol is treating the case as a DUI (driving under the influence) manslaughter.
Terri Sheffield, 25, of Vernon and the driver of the 2005 Ford F250, was traveling southbound on State Road 79, near Cook Circle, when the vehicle veered off onto the west shoulder of the road. The right side of the truck struck the dirt embankment of the ditch, causing it to overturn onto its right side and partially ejecting four-year-old Finley Sheffield.
The child died on the scene as a result of being caught between the ground and the vehicle, according to FHP Public Affairs Officer Lt. W. Robert Cannon. Two-year-old Jacee Walker was also in the vehicle, but did not sustain any injuries.
No one in the truck was wearing seatbelts, the FHP press release states.
After being transported to Northwest Florida Community Hospital with minor injuries, Sheffield was released and transported to Washington County Jail.
It was not immediately determined if any other factors were involved in the crash, however, investigators said there are witnesses and expect the investigation to be complete within the next 90 days. Investigators did obtain a warrant to determine Sheffield's blood alcohol content level, however, that information has not been released.