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Largo teen on bike hit by suspected drunken driver

A 15-year-old bicycle rider was flown to Bayfront Medical Center on Thursday night with serious head injuries after police say the girl was struck by a drunken driver.

Robin E. Mathis, 47, of St. Petersburg was arrested on a felony charge of DUI causing serious bodily injury. The accident happened just after 11 p.m. Thursday on West Bay Drive and Clearwater-Largo Road.

Largo police have not identified the victim, and her condition was unknown Friday afternoon.

Police said Mathis stopped her vehicle about 40 feet from the crash, but did not get out to help. Emergency medical units arrived a short time later.

Largo police said Mathis failed a field sobriety test and results of a blood test were pending.

If convicted, Mathis could face up to five years in prison for the third-degree felony charge.

Mathis, of 5024 19th St. N in St. Petersburg, works as a maternity care adviser with the Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas Inc.

The Healthy Start Coalition is a private, nonprofit organization that aims to help pregnant women, infants and young children, according to its Web site.

Astrid Ellis, operation manager at the Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, said Mathis is a longtime employee of the organization. She said Mathis' role was more administrative, as opposed to working with patients directly.

In both 2006 and 2008, Mathis was charged with driving with a suspended license, according to Pinellas County records. Mathis' current license is valid, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.

Shirl Kennedy contributed research. Brian Spegele can be reached at bspegele@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4154.

Largo teen on bike hit by suspected drunken driver 08/06/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 4:38pm]
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