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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Charges upgraded in Tampa crash that killed girl

Charges against a Tampa man who crashed into a vehicle that killed a 5-year-old girl were upgraded Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Rolando Rojas, 52, has now been charged with driving under the influence manslaughter, reckless driving involving serious injury, four counts of DUI involving property damage and DUI, FHP said. He originally had been charged with vehicular homicide and DUI with serious bodily injury. Rojas is being held in a Hillsborough County jail without bail, FHP said. The crash occurred at around 9:37 p.m. Friday at U.S. Highway 301 and Bloomingdale Avenue, FHP said.
Lilly Mills of Riverview was seriously hurt and taken to Tampa General Hospital. She was pronounced dead Saturday, FHP said. Rojas was driving north on U.S. 301 in a 1999 Ford Ranger when he tried to pass between two vehicles that were stopped for traffic south of Bloomingdale Avenue, the Florida Highway Patrol said. While trying to squeeze between a Nissan Altima in the outside lane and a Honda Civic in the center lane, Rojas sideswiped both cars, the patrol said. Rojas' pickup continued into the intersection, where it smashed into the passenger side of a 2002 Chrysler minivan driven by Samantha Anne Populin, 25. There were six people in the minivan — two adults and four children. All were taken to Tampa General Hospital after the crash. Populin and Kayla Marie Mills, 10, were treated but not admitted. Paul Mills, 29, Audrey Mills, 7, and Sophia Evy Mills, 2, were admitted to the hospital and later released, said relative Julie Mills. Populin and Paul Mills are the parents of Lilly Mills and Sophia Evy Mills, Julie Mills said. Paul Mills is the father of Kayla Marie Mills and Audrey Mills, from a previous relationship, Julie Mills said.
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