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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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FHP identifies driver in crash that killed "smiling" teen

TRINITY — Friends said what they’ll remember the most about Lillia Morris is that she was always smiling.

The 17-year-old Mitchell High School junior was killed Tuesday when a sport-utility vehicle ran a red light on State Road 54 and slammed into the driver’s side of her car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The FHP said it has identified the driver of the SUV and tracked down and arrested a passenger who ran from the crash scene. Once the investigation is finished, charges could be filed in Morris’ death.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Pasco teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

In the meantime, the teen was mourned Wednesday by those who knew her.

Family friend Kayla Hunt said the 17-year-old went to church every Sunday and was driven to pursue a career in the medical field. She worked on health screenings at local elementary schools through Mitchell’s medical club.

She wanted to become a pediatric nurse and "her face lit up" when she was with those kids, said Aiden McCall, the club’s president.

"I never saw her not smiling," friend Sydney Moore wrote in a Twitter message. "She could just make you happy by being around you."

She said the pair hadn’t been close for a few years, but Morris still made sure to say hello every day in the hallways.

"It would change your day because it was just a random small act of kindness," Moore said.

Another friend remembered Morris’ positivity.

"She could make anyone smile!" Julia Templeton, who knew Morris since middle school, wrote in a Twitter message.

A crisis team of district staff, school counselors and social workers was on campus Wednesday to help upset students and teachers cope, Mitchell High’s Principal Jessica Schultz said.

Tuesday’s crash took place at about 2:30 p.m. Morris was headed north on Duck Slough Boulevard in a 2009 Honda coupe and had the green light to cross S.R. 54, troopers said. Then the FHP said the 2008 Chevrolet SUV, which was driving east on S.R. 54, ran the red.

There were three people inside the SUV, troopers said, and one of them ran from the scene: Brandon Casey Windom, 27, of Tampa.

The other two people in the Chevrolet were Jason Richard Tout, 34, of Hudson; and Roy Wiley Rimmer, 54, of Tampa.

Rimmer was injured in the crash and taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point for medical treatment. The FHP later determined that he was driving the SUV and took blood from him at the hospital for toxicology tests.

"Once we have all the facts in the case he could be charged with a simple ticket of running the red light," FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins said, "or, depending on the toxicology, he could face DUI manslaughter if he has something in his system."

Windom was tracked down and captured late Tuesday at his home at 5305 North Blvd. in Tampa. He was arrested on felony charges of tampering with or fabricating evidence and possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor charges of resisting an officer without violence and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to jail records.

He was being held late Wednesday in the Pasco County jail in lieu of $12,000 bail.

Contact Rachel Frazin at [email protected] Follow @RachelFrazin

 
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