Coleden Snowden Charged After Fatal High-Speed Crash
Man Drove Tahoe "57 MPH" Above Posted Limit
Last updated 8/23/2023 at 1:59pm
A Babson Park man has been arrested and charged after a crash that took the life of a local woman.
Coleden Snowden was arrested by Polk County Sheriff's deputies after an extensive investigation indicated that he was driving as fast as 112 miles per hour just prior to causing a crash that resulted in the death of a Frostproof woman in March. Snowden, 20, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, a second degree felony.
According to investigators, a reconstruction of the crash indicated he "operated his vehicle in willful wanton disregard for human life."
Snowden was traveling west in a Chevy Tahoe on Scenic Highway around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 when he approached a sharp rise marked by a "Hidden Driveway" sign. A forensic investigation of the Tahoe's Airbag Control Module (ACM) revealed that the Tahoe was traveling 112 MPH five seconds before the crash.
Patricia Robarts, 53, of Frostproof was leaving her work at The Coop restaurant on Scenic Highway and Waverly Road, opposite North Crooked Lake Drive. As she began to turn her Kia left onto Scenic Highway toward Frostproof, the Kia appeared over the hill traveling at high speed. Snowden began braking four seconds prior to the crash, decelerating from 112 MPH, according to investigators. By the time his vehicle struck the Kia, he was still traveling at 65 MPH. The posted speed limit on the roadway is 55 MPH.
Upon impact the Kia was thrown from the highway and burst into flames. Robarts was killed instantly.
According to a statement issued by Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, "It is clear from the evidence that had the Tahoe been traveling at or near the posted speed limit of 55 MPH, the crash either would not have occurred, or would have been drastically reduced, with non-fatal injuries."
"The tragic death of Ms. Robarts was completely avoidable, if only Coleden Snowden had obeyed the posted speed limit and not driven so recklessly," Judd added. "He is now facing a serious felony, and we hope that his arrest serves as an example to others about the importance of traffic safety. Ms. Robarts' friends and family members are in our prayers."