Trinity Bachmann, 13, was on the way home from a friend’s house when her mother refused her a spot in the front seat. The girl then began arguing with her mother and exited the vehicle. Witnesses say she then sat in the middle of the road until she was struck by a vehicle and killed. The driver of the vehicle that hit Bachmann may have been inebriated.
WKMG reports that 13-year-old Trinity Backmann was an eighth grader at Apopka Middle School. The girl got into an argument with her mother, Janice Pedroza, over who would sit in the front seat of the vehicle that was loaded with a number of other teens. When Trinity was not given the front seat, she walked away from the car down the road. When Pedroza found her daughter, she continued to argue and sat down in the middle of the road. At this point, Pedroza tried to pull the girl out of the street but she refused to budge. Shortly after, a vehicle struck Trinity and Pedroza, killing the girl and leaving her mother injured.
The Orlando Sentinel notes that the argument began on a return trip from the Central Florida Fair in Orlando. Pedroza dropped off one of the girls and was approximately three miles from home when Trinity became upset over the seating arrangements. She told her mother if she couldn’t sit in the front seat, she was going to walk home.
It was noted in the police report that Trinity was wearing dark clothes and that at least one other driver said they had difficulty seeing Trinity in the road as they passed. The other driver, a pizza delivery man, says the girl had on dark clothing, was sitting in the road on a poorly lit street, and it was raining. He noted that he was unable to fully make out what was in the road until he passed.
“I couldn’t see her clearly until I passed them.”
The pizza delivery man was worried about the girl after he passed so he quickly delivered the pizza to the house nearby and returned to see what was wrong. However, by the time he got back to the spot in the road, the girl was dead.
Police note that a 21-year-old driver hit the girl and had an open Mike’s Hard Lemonade in her car. In addition to the open container, police noted the woman as having glassy and bloodshot eyes and smelling as though she had been drinking. The woman submitted to a blood test by paramedics on site and has not been charged in the incident. However, police say they are still waiting on blood test results and will look into further charges as information becomes available.
Should the woman driver be charged with manslaughter for the death of Trinity Backman if she is found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol? Or should the woman only receive a DUI, since other sober drivers say that the girl was hard to see in the road due to her dark clothing and road conditions?