A Texas man has been arrested after his 12-year-old daughter fatally struck a man and his dog with an SUV she was driving around an apartment complex, officials said.
Tomas Mejia Tol’s daughter had managed to get behind the wheel of a black Ford Explorer parked in the lot at the Serenity at CitySide Apartment complex in Houston Thursday, police said.
She began pulling the vehicle forward from a parking space and in the process, hit the accelerator pedal and came into contact with a 46-year-old man who was walking his dogs through the parking lot, authorities said.
“The Ford moved forward at a high rate of speed, struck the man, one of his dogs and then a tree,” Houston police said.
The man, identified by neighbors as Enrique Vazquez, and the dog that was struck were pronounced dead at the scene.
Prosecutors said Tol, 42, told them he was the one driving, but they later learned it was the girl. Tol was charged with criminal negligent homicide and endangering a child, police said.
It was not clear why the child was behind the wheel of the vehicle at the time of the incident, during which a 2-year-old child was also in the SUV, KTRK-TV reported.