Apopka girl, 13, sitting in road struck, killed

Trinity Bachmann was upset about not being able to sit in front seat, police say

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

APOPKA, Fla. - A 13-year-old Apopka girl who sat in the middle of a road after an argument over who would sit in the front seat of a car was struck and killed, according to police.

Trinity Bachmann died after being hit Saturday night on Christiana Avenue near Oak Street, not far from State Road 436.

[AUDIO: 911 call released in teen's death ]

According to Apopka police, Trinity, an eighth-grader who attended Apopka Middle School, was upset after arguing over the front seat and walked away from the car. She was later found by her mother, Janice Pedroza, who had several other teens in her vehicle, police said.

Pedroza, 36, attempted to get Trinity out of the roadway, but a car struck them. 

"We heard arguing going on and stepped outside," said Jackie Suggs, who lives across the street. "Somebody said 'get outta here,' and next thing you know, bam! She got hit and flew up in the air. It was awful."

 They were taken to Florida Hospital Apopka, where Trinity died, police said.  Pedroza's condition was not released.

"She was lifeless, right there, just lifeless," said Suggs. "And her mom was just panicking. Screaming. And I'm calling 911."

According to Apopka police, the driver, 21-year-old Mackenzi Miller of Apopka, had the odor of alcohol on her breath and her eyes were glassy and bloodshot.  Police said an opened Mike's Hard Lemonade was found in the center console of the car.

Police explained, however, those observations alone are not probable cause for arrest. Sgt. Ed Chittenden of the Apopka Police Department said those observations may indicate a person has consumed alcohol, but not that he or she is impaired.

Chittenden, a traffic homicide investigator and Apopka Police Department spokesperson, said Miller's blood was drawn at the scene and detectives are awaiting the results. The blood test was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for examination.

"The blood test results are important to the investigation because they may reveal there was some level of intoxication, or possibly an illegal substance or something like that," said Chittenden. "I can tell you from my experience I much prefer to get medical blood than our standard testing. Medical blood is a little more precise."

Sgt. Chittenden said Miller was also given a field sobriety test but he will not release the results of that test, saying they are part of an ongoing active investigation. He said the investigation could take up to 2 months.

"A lot of what we do is the investigators take measurements at the scene, they talk to witnesses, they gather as much information as they have, there's numbers you have to crunch as far as speed and timing, that sort of thing," said Sgt. Chittendon.

Miller has not been arrested and has not been charged with a crime.

Grief counselors were made available Monday for students at Apopka Middle School. A spokesperson for the Orange County School District said counselors would be available as long as students need them.

Teachers and coaches said Trinity loved cheerleading, band, FFA and 4-H. Her hog is being auctioned off Sunday at 4 p.m. at Central Florida Fair Livestock Pavillion.

Close friends held a raffle and auction at the Beef O'Brady's at 1410 Rock Springs Road in Apopka Tuesday night to raise money for Trinity's funeral expenses.

"She was my kid just like this whole city, this whole city loved her, loves her, they still love her," said family friend Vicky Adams. "She'll make you laugh, she'll put you in your spot. I don't even like talking about her in past tense, she's still here as far as I'm concerned."

Bachman's viewing will be held Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Her funeral will be held Friday morning at Trinity Baptist Church in Apopka.

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