12-year-old and a 13-year-old — were transported to the hospital in critical condition, and criminal charges are pending further investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Robert William Etheridge, 58, was driving a Ford Escape on Quintette Road around 8 p.m. Monday when his car approached the two girls.
The vehicle crashed into one girl’s back, causing her to travel onto the hood of the SUV, according to a news release from FHP. Her head struck the windshield, and she rolled off the right side of the vehicle onto the shoulder of the road.
The second girl was thrown approximately 65 feet through the air due to the collision’s force. She landed on the right shoulder of the roadway.
The vehicle left the scene and "after the initial crash was reported, the driver of the vehicle contacted dispatch that he may have hit a deer in the same area," according to FHP.