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Toddler dies in crash on Interstate 275

A toddler, just days from turning 2, died Tuesday night after the car she was in was hit from behind and flipped on Interstate 275, police said.

Driver Gloria Martin was northbound shortly before 10 p.m. in a white 1980 AMC, pulling a rental U-Haul trailer, said St. Petersburg police Sgt. David DeKay.

Martin, a resident of Michigan, suddenly slowed about half a mile north of Pinellas Point Drive, and a 1988 Lincoln behind her could not brake quickly enough, DeKay said.

The Lincoln, driven by Mark Mandelstein of Tampa, hit the trailer, DeKay said. The AMC skidded onto its side and flipped onto its roof, throwing Martin and the baby, Mary Robinson, from the car.

The child died later at Bayfront Medical Center. She would have celebrated her second birthday Oct. 24.

Martin and four other passengers in the AMC, including three children, also were rushed to Bayfront Medical Center. All had been released Wednesday, DeKay said.

Mandelstein, 34, of 6009 Lemon Tree Court in Tampa, was not injured. No charges had been filed Wednesday.

The baby apparently was not in a child safety seat, DeKay said.