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Crash kills Arlington girl; 14-year-old boyfriend held

DENTON -- A 14-year-old Arlington girl is dead and a 14-year-old boy faces an intoxication manslaughter charge after the SUV he was driving flipped over a guardrail early Sunday.

Valeria Rodriguez was on her way to Oklahoma with the 14-year-old driver and a 16-year-old boy when she was ejected and later pronounced dead at the scene of the crash about 3:20 a.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. She was found about 30 yards from the northbound lanes of Interstate 35, the medical examiner's website said.

Rodriguez was not wearing a seat belt, police said. The driver and the 16-year-old passenger were taken to Denton Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and released later Sunday, police said. The driver was being detained at the Denton County Juvenile Detention Center, police said.

The driver, who is also from Arlington, took a Chevrolet Trailblazer from his home without the owner's permission early Sunday, picked up his 14-year-old girlfriend and a 16-year-old friend, and was driving north on I-35 near mile marker 84 when the vehicle went out of control, police said.

The vehicle flipped over the guardrail and went down an embankment, ejecting Rodriguez, police said. Officers reported smelling alcohol on the driver's breath and finding several beer cans inside the vehicle. Blood samples were taken from the driver, but the results were not available Sunday, said Capt. Lenn Carter, Denton police spokesman.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

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