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Winter Haven Nurse Practitioner Arrested for Hit-and-Run Incident: Polk County Sheriff's Office

WINTER HAVEN, FL - A Winter Haven nurse practitioner found herself on the wrong side of the law after being involved in a hit-and-run incident. Ashley Welch, 39, was arrested for leaving the scene of a minor two-vehicle crash without providing necessary information.


The incident occurred on Saturday, December 30, 2023, at Spirit Lake Road near the entrance to The Villages at Spirit Lake subdivision. A Polk County Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to the scene following reports of the crash, which involved minor property damage. Upon arrival, the deputy found that one of the vehicles, a Toyota Camry, had remained at the scene, while the other, a white pickup truck, had fled.


The driver of the Camry recounted that the female driver of the white truck, later identified as Welch, initially stopped after the collision. She allegedly examined both vehicles, declared there was no damage, and then left the scene abruptly as the Camry's driver began calling law enforcement. The rear of the Camry had sustained damage.


Through an investigation that included speaking with local residents, one of whom provided video surveillance of the crash, deputies were able to clearly identify the white truck and its license plate. The vehicle was registered to Welch, a resident of the same neighborhood.


When deputies contacted Welch, she agreed to meet them at her residence. Upon questioning, she admitted to parking the white truck at a different location. Deputies were able to locate the truck and confirm its involvement in the crash.

Welch was subsequently issued a citation for leaving the scene of a crash with property damage and was arrested. She was booked into the Polk County Jail but was released the same evening after posting a $250.00 bond. It is known that Welch is employed as a nurse practitioner at Advent Health Sebring.


All Ms. Welch had to do was stop and exchange information. She turned a minor fender-bender into an arrest. Crashes are inconvenient and a part of life. We ask everyone to follow the law and do what’s right.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

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