Police: One child dead, four injured after mother accidentally hit them with SUV -- Gazette.Net



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This story was updated at 8:15 a.m. June 3.

An 8-year-old girl is dead and one child is still hospitalized after a mother accidentally hit them while backing into the driveway of a Lewisdale home Thursday night.

Prince George’s police said the 8-year-old’s mother, Marianable Cruz-Lopez, 33, mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brakes in her Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle when backing into the driveway in the 2200 block of Hannon Street.

The vehicle continued down the driveway striking the five children, who were playing outside, and wrecking into the home’s garage, which is now severely damaged, police said.

Her daughter, Natalie Hernandez-Cruz, died after being transported to a hospital.

As of Saturday a 10-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, while a 6-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, who is the mother’s son, have been released from the hospital as of Saturday afternoon.

The relationship between the other children and Cruz-Lopez was still under investigation as of Saturday according to a county police release.

“It appears she mistakenly stepped on the gas rather than the brakes of the SUV, accelerated rapidly in reverse, hit the children and then continued on into the garage,” said Julie Parker, a county police spokeswoman, of the incident that occurred around 8:45 p.m.

According to county police, Cruz-Lopez was in the process of moving out earlier Thursday evening when she called police to the scene saying that she was being mistreated for having to leave the home.

Officers responded to break up the dispute and assess the situation, and the officers believed everyone was calm when they left the scene, said Maj. Robert Brewer, the District 1 commander.

“According to the officers, the woman was upset, but not out of control. She seemed to be bothered by what was occurring, but by no means predicted based on her behavior that something as awful as this could’ve happened,” Parker said.

Minutes after leaving, police said they received a call for a vehicle collision at the same address, upon which the officers came back to the home, found children lying in the yard and driveway and began administering CPR to the 8-year-old before the county’s fire/EMS department arrived on scene and transported all of the children to a hospital.

“Every time [the responding police officers] looked up while giving CPR, they saw another child lying in the grass. The family members had pulled them from the bricks of the garage,” Brewer said, explaining events after the collision.

Parker said the mother, who was taken into police custody for questioning, has been released and is not facing any charges in the incident. She said alcohol or drugs do not appear to be factors.

djgross@gazette.net