Head-on crash leaves 2 girls without mom

Compiled from staff reports
Posted June 3, 2003


TAVARES -- How does a man tell his two young daughters that their mother is dead?

Neil Miller, 32, struggled all day Monday trying to find the words he would say to his 3- and 6-year-old daughters once he picked them up from day care.

"I'm trying to let them have a normal day, as normal as possible," he said Monday morning.

His former wife, Timelie Linda Miller, 25, was on her way from her Leesburg home to her job in Tavares Monday morning when her SUV was hit head-on by a tractor-trailer car hauler.

She was transported to Leesburg Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

William Lowe Torres, 36, of Apopka was driving the tractor-trailer west on State Road 48, about two miles west of Howey-in-the-Hills, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. When a vehicle in front of him slowed to make a right turn, Torres apparently stepped on the brakes and lost control of the vehicle, drifting across the center line.

Allen Lee Bottass, 22, was traveling east when the tractor-trailer sideswiped his 1982 Chevrolet El Camino. Bottass was later treated for minor injuries.

Behind Bottass was Timelie Miller in her 1984 Chevy S-10 Blazer.

"She tried to avoid him, but the guardrail was there," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Jorge Delahoz.