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Father charged with murder after daughter killed in crash

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By AMBER COULTER

Landmark News Service

A Louisville man faces charges including murder following a fatal traffic wreck Friday that killed his 2-year-old daughter of Carrollton.

Arturo Rodriguez, 22, lost control of the 2000 Cadillac Escalade he was driving southbound on Interstate 65 and entered the median, Kentucky State Police said.

The vehicle crossed into the northbound lanes where it overturned, police said.

Officers responded at 5:33 p.m. to the wreck near the 86 mile marker.

Sidolena Martinez, 2, of Carrollton, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Rodriguez and a second passenger, Silena Smith, 21, of Carrollton, were transported by air ambulance to University Hospital in Louisville for treatment of nonlife-threatening injuries.

Rodriguez was released later Friday.

Smith was listed Saturday in satisfactory condition.

The child’s body was transported to the state medical examiner’s office Friday, and an autopsy was conducted Saturday, said Kenneth Spangenberger, chief deputy coroner for the Hardin County Coroner’s Office.

The child died from massive head trauma, Spangenberger said.

Rodriguez was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the wreck, police said.

He was arrested on charges of murder, driving under the influence, operating a vehicle without a license, failure to have insurance and failure to use a child restraint in a vehicle.

There was no child safety seat in the vehicle, and Rodriguez has never had a license, said Trooper Brad Riley, who is investigating the wreck.

Rodriguez was lodged Friday night in the Hardin County Detention Center.

He remained in custody Saturday in lieu of $500,000 cash bond with no bail credit bond.

The crash remained under investigation Saturday.

State police were assisted at the scene by Air Methods and the Glendale Fire Department.

The American Red Cross assisted with comfort aid for responders working in excessive heat.

Traffic on the interstate was backed up for hours as the scene was cleared and cable barriers in the median were repaired.

Martinez’s body was taken to Tandy-Eckler-Riley Funeral Home in Carrollton, where she has family, Spangenberger said. The family will have visitation from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Family Worship Center in Carrollton. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m., with burial in the I.O.O.F Cemetery in Carrollton.