Florida Highway Patrol troopers have identified the driver who was behind the wheel of an SUV that killed a Mitchell High School student.
Investigators tell News Channel 8 that 54-year old Roy Rimmer was operating the Chevy on Tuesday afternoon. He is currently in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
The accident happened at the intersection of Duck Slough Boulevard and State Road 54 in Pasco County.
Seventeen-year-old Lillia Grace Morris died at the scene.
Initially, troopers were looking for a man captured on dashcam video walking away from the scene. They located 27-year-old Brandon Casey Widom at his home in Tampa and arrested him on unrelated charges. Further investigation revealed he was not the driver.
A crisis team was at Mitchell High School on Tuesday. On Wednesday, grief counselors were available for students, faculty and staff.
“Today is a tough day, a very tough day,” said Mitchell High School Principal Jessica Shultz.
Those who knew Morris are remembering her as a friendly, caring young lady.
“Lillia was a very sweet child, she loved being part of our medical academy,” said Principal Shultz.
Morris was a part of HOSA, or Health Occupations Student of America. The students in HOSA have created a GoFundMe Page to help the Morris Family.
Principal Shultz says many of the students at Mitchell have known Morris since kindergarten, and she wants parents to know this will be difficult for many of them.
“The biggest thing is listen, talk to your kids, let them talk to each other and explain how they feel. It is hard for kids to process this type of thing,” she said.
Mitchell High will be posting resources online to help parents talk to their children in times of tragedy.
Corrie Lopez is the office manager at the Trinity Spine Center where Morris worked. She had been there only a few months but had grown close to many of her coworkers.
“It’s hard. It’s still really hard, you know?” said Lopez. “Lillia was a sweet child. You know she had just turned 17. She was happy, she smiled all of the time. She was great. She showed up on time, she got along with all of our patients here.”
Highway patrol troopers are waiting on toxicology results to make a determination on what, if any, charges Rimmer will face. If his blood tests come back clean, he may be charged with failure to yield the right of way. If drugs or alcohol were a factor, he could be looking at a DUI manslaughter charge.