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Dad's Plan to Let Daughter Drive Ends in Tragedy: Police

Tomas Mejia's 12-year-old girl apparently killed a pedestrian and his dog
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2019 12:26 PM CDT
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Tomas Mejia.   (City of Houston)

(Newser) – A father's plan to let his 12-year-old daughter go driving apparently turned to tragedy when a pedestrian and his dog ended up dead, Click2Houston reports. Police say Tomas Mejia, 42, let his daughter drive an SUV in Houston, where she mistook the gas pedal for the brakes and hit a 40-year-old and his dog. Mejia was arrested Friday and charged with endangering a child and criminally negligent homicide. "It's never OK to let a 12-year-old drive a car," says an assistant DA with the Harris County District Attorneys Vehicular Crimes unit. "Twelve years old is way too young even if a parent is in the seat."

What's more, prosecutors say a 2-year-old was sitting in the back seat and Mejia initially claimed he was the one behind the wheel, per KTRK. Oddly, witnesses say officers gave the driving daughter a field sobriety test. "They did her like she was drunk," a woman says. "We were wondering why they would do that test on her if she's just like a teenager." The victim, 47-year-old Enrique Vazquez, was recalled by neighbors only as a man they'd seen walking his dogs. "It's a tragic crash," says the head of the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "It's a tragic incident and happens all too often in our community." (Read more fatal accident stories.)

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