Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Drier pattern ending in Tampa Bay as front brings building rain chances throughout weekend


    The drier, hot weather pattern across Tampa Bay will remain in place Friday before rain chances start to ramp up yet again through the weekend and into next week.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Police investigating death of child in Largo


    LARGO — An investigation is underway into the death of a child Thursday night at a mobile home park and a 25-year-old man has been named as a suspect, the Largo Police Department said.

  3. Goodbye, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle: Apple kills products as music moves to phones


    SAN FRANCISCO — The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have played their final notes for Apple.

    An iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are displayed at an Apple store in New York in 2015. The company discontinued sales of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle on Thursday, July 27, 2017, in a move reflecting the waning popularity of the devices in an era when most people store or stream their tunes on smartphones. [Associated Press]
  4. Review: Sherman Alexie's 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' a moving mother-son memoir


    Grief has no timetable and abides by no map or pattern. Nor, despite the efforts of the most skilled storytellers, does it surrender to our narratives about it.

    LOVEIS WISE   |   Special to the Times
  5. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership


    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]