12-Year-Old's Apparent Suicide Attempt Kills Grad Student Who Hoped to Help Depressed Youths

Marisa Harris
Marisa Harris was working toward a master's degree in counseling. (Family Photo)

A Maryland graduate student who hoped to one day help depressed youths was killed over the weekend when a 12-year-old leapt from an overpass and onto the car she was driving.

Marisa Harris, 22, was working to become a counselor, according to her mother, Leigh Harris. She "wanted to help kids" like the one whose apparent suicide attempt left her dead Saturday, WUSA reported.

Watch: Fantasia Opens Up About Her Suicide Attempt

Harris was driving on I-66 in Virginia when the boy reportedly jumped from an overpass in Fairfax County.

With Harris incapacitated, her family said her boyfriend took control of the car from the passenger's seat and steered it off of the interstate.

Harris was pronounced dead at the scene. Her boyfriend was not injured.

Police transported the unidentified 12-year-old to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Harris, of Olney, Md., was studying for a master's degree in mental health counseling at Marymount University. 

Watch: Overpass Horror: Teens Throw Rock, Changing Woman's Life Forever

Leigh Harris called it "ironic" that her daughter died the way she did.

"She had an absolute love for children,” Harris told The Washington Post.