An 11-month-old girl and her mom were injured when their gray Hyundai collided with a Citrus Connection bus on Kathleen Road, just south of Interstate 4. | Courtesy of Lynnette Cardona

A 20-year-old Bartow woman was seriously injured and her 11-month-old daughter is in critical condition after their gray Hyundai sedan collided with a Citrus Connection bus on Friday morning.

The crash happened on Kathleen Road at the intersection with Fairbanks Street and Interstate Drive at 6:41 a.m., just south of Interstate 4.

Lakeland Police said the bus attempted to make a left turn from the southbound lane of Kathleen Road while the 2022 Hyundai sedan was traveling northbound in the outside lane. “As the bus made the left turn, the front of the Hyundai struck the passenger side of the bus while they were in the intersection,” LPD spokeswoman Stephanie Kerr said in a news release.

The baby’s mother, who was driving the Hyundai, was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with serious injuries, but was listed in stable condition Friday afternoon.

The infant, who was in the back seat of the Hyundai, was transported to Lakeland Regional in critical condition and then airlifted to Tampa General Hospital.

The bus was carrying five passengers, three of whom were transported to Lakeland Regional with non-life-threatening injuries. The bus driver was not injured.

The roadway was shut down for approximately four hours while members of LPD’s traffic homicide team investigated.

No citations were issued, but Kerr said the crash remains an open investigation. Information about seatbelt and car seat use was unavailable Friday evening.

Anyone with information regarding the crash is encouraged to contact LPD Traffic Crash Investigator Camilo Almeida at [email protected].

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Cindy Glover moved to Lakeland in 2021 after spending two decades in South Florida. She was a crime reporter, City Hall reporter and chief political writer for newspapers including the Albuquerque Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She spent a year as a community engagement coordinator for the City of Lakeland before joining Jazbablog. Reach her at [email protected] or 561-212-3429.

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