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Teen Girl Is Taken From Florida Mother

April 2, 2003

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) _ A mother whose high-speed car crash killed her daughter three years ago has lost custody of another daughter after allegedly saying she wished the surviving girl had been the one who had died.

A sheriff’s investigator testified Tuesday that Mary Hill told her she wished the child had died in the crash instead of her older daughter, Amy, who was 13.

Hill also said she wished she could ram her and her surviving daughter into a tree ``and die,″ investigator Mary Ellen Humes told Circuit Judge Donna McIntosh.

``I did not,″ Hill shouted during Tuesday’s hearing.

McIntosh ruled that Hill presented an ``imminent danger″ to her daughter and temporarily revoked her custody.

The girl, now 13, had been placed in state custody during an emergency-shelter hearing Saturday. The girl was expected to live with her older half-sister.

Mary Hill’s attorney, Mark Formang, said the problem is simply a mother disciplining her daughter over poor grades.

Mary Hill, driving more than 70 mph, crashed into a tree in 2000, killing her daughter and Carrie Brown, the 14-year-old daughter of prominent gymnastics coach Rita Brown.

She still faces two criminal counts of vehicular homicide and one charge of child neglect. She and her insurance company have agreed to pay a total of $3 million to settle lawsuits filed by Carrie’s family and a youth injured in the crash.

Mary Hill and her husband, Dennis, are separated and in the process of getting a divorce. Dennis Hill could not be considered for custody because of a domestic-violence injunction his wife filed against him.