A father in Houston, Texas is facing criminal charges after his 12-year-old daughter drove a car and killed a man who was out walking his three dogs.
Houston Police say Tomás Mejía Tol allowed his daughter to drive an SUV at the Wilshire Apartments Thursday afternoon when the incident occurred. The victim, identified as Enrique Vasquez, was reportedly walking his three dogs in the apartment complex where Mejía lived when he was struck by the SUV being driven by the pre-teen, authorities said. The 12-year-old accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake when she fatally struck the victim and his dog.
"Apparently, she pulled out and made a mistake and hit the gas instead of the brake and struck the gentleman that was walking his dog," Lt. Thurston Roberson, with the Houston Police Department, told KPRC.
The man died at the scene, authorities said. The dog died a little later.
Mejía, who was in the vehicle at the time with a 2-year-old child, told investigators he had been trying to teach his 12-year-old daughter how to drive, Sean Teare, chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, told NBC News.
“This is why you don’t teach a 12-year-old how to drive; much less in a crowded and populated area with a 2-year-old in the car,” said Teare.
Mejía was charged with criminal negligent homicide and endangering a child on Friday for causing the man's death by allowing a “child to operate a motor vehicle with no driver’s license and no driving experience,” according to documents from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Photo: Houston Police Department