12-year-old driver killed in crash as stepfather rides in passenger seat

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A 12-year-old has been killed after getting behind the wheel of a car while her stepfather sat in the passenger seat beside her.

Josseline Molina-Rivas died following a crash in the US state of Maryland on Sunday (July 24).

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According to police, she was driving the car on Broken Land Parkway in Columbia, Maryland, when, at about 2am, she veered off the road and smashed into a tree.

Her 36-year-old stepfather was a passenger and was reported to have been seriously injured in the crash.

The young girl's mother, Gracia Rivas, recalled the moment that the police showed up to tell her what had happened.

"I was asleep. I didn't feel my girl, and when I woke up, I was scared. I couldn't find my car keys. I didn't know where Josseline was," she told NBC Washington sister station, Telemundo 44.

She added: "I don't know anything. I don't even know where they were going… When I went to sleep, I went to sleep with her at my side… That's why I woke up because my daughter wasn't next to me."

Molina-Rivas was pronounced dead at the scene and her stepfather was transported to a hospital. He remained in a serious condition as of Monday (July 25).

It is unclear why the child was driving the vehicle or why the pair were in the car after 2am.

Rivas said her daughter was "such an intelligent girl" and was "so happy".

"She liked going to school," she added.

Though the investigation is ongoing, police say that speed is likely to have been a factor.

They are also making enquiries into whether either person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.


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