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5-year-old girl dies of injuries in collision with drunken driver, Highway Patrol says

TAMPA — A 5-year-old girl involved in a drunken-driving crash Friday night has died from her injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Lilly Mills of Brandon was taken to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition after the van she was riding in was hit by a pickup truck on U.S. 301 near Bloomingdale Avenue. She died Saturday afternoon.

Troopers arrested Rolando Rojas, 52, of 1220 E Crenshaw St. in Tampa, and charged him with driving under the influence with serious bodily injury. Minor injuries kept Rojas in Tampa General Hospital overnight Saturday.

Three other children were injured in the crash.

Troopers said that around 9:30 p.m. Friday, Rojas was driving a Ford pickup truck north on U.S. 301.

Two other vehicles also headed north had stopped for traffic at Bloomingdale Avenue. But Rojas tried to drive between them — sideswiping both, the patrol said.

His truck then stuck a Chrysler van headed south on U.S. 301. The collision caused Rojas' truck to hit another vehicle and overturn, troopers said.

Six occupants of the van, all from Brandon, were injured.

Audrey Mills, 7, was seriously injured. Sophia Evy Mills, 2, and Kayla Marie Mills, 10, received minor injuries.

The driver of the van, Samantha Anne Populin 25, had minor injuries and Paul Wilson Mills, 29, sustained serious injuries, the patrol said.

Troopers did not indicate if Rojas' charges had been upgraded Saturday.

5-year-old girl dies of injuries in collision with drunken driver, Highway Patrol says 07/02/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 2, 2011 9:58pm]
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