Share story

FORT MEADE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say four people were killed in a fiery car crash in central Florida.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports that emergency crews responded to the stretch of rural highway near Fort Meade on Wednesday night after reports of a car engulfed in flames.

Rescuers found three dead inside a Chrysler SUV: the driver, 23-year-old Jim Bass; his brother, 24-year-old Joshua Bass; and their cousin, 41-year-old Casey Baynard. Family members told deputies the three men were heading to Sebring to visit their grandmother.

An investigation revealed that a Toyota 4Runner driven by 23-year-old Christian Bautista of Frostproof veered into oncoming traffic, striking the Chrysler.

The vehicles collided nearly head-on, resulting in the Chrysler bursting into flames and the Toyota rolling and ejecting Bautista, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.